Monthly Archives: August 2010

Bobby B’s Welcome Back Letter (Abridged)

This week marks the start of the 2010-2011 school year at UC Berkeley. As a way to welcome back the stakeholders of Cal, Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau issued a riveting 2,200 word email to the campus community. This letter followed on the heels of a slightly more light-hearted welcome back letter recently penned by UC President Mark G. Yudof. You can find President Yudof’s letter here.

We here at the UC Movement for Efficient Privatization (UCMeP) have long been ardent supporters of Chancellor Birgeneau (who we like to call Bobby B). Like all good patsies worthy of the name, Bobby never hesitates to do what his more ambitiously ruthless colleagues such as Provost George Breslauer tell him. UCMeP loves people who have the courage to refrain from rocking the boat even if it means compromising their integrity.

Despite our admiration of Chancellor Birgeneau’s unwavering ethos of inaction, we must say that Bobby’s lengthy welcome back letter was anything but efficient. Don’t get us wrong, the piece toes the UCMeP party line quite well and it masterfully leaves out the right amount of crucial information.

Yet there’s no denying the fact that the tome-like length of this e-mail was a bit excessive. UCMeP understands that students, faculty, and staff just don’t have the time to read  pages and pages of moderately inspiring claptrap like they used to. This has nothing to do with shortened attention spans or laziness. Trust us, students for one are more industrious than ever – they have to be, what with the multiple jobs many now juggle in order to finance the privilege of being a Golden Bear.

So in the spirit of efficiency, UCMeP has taken the liberty of producing an abridged version of Chancellor Birgeneau’s welcome back letter. Each paragraph has been pared down to its essential elements. Where necessary, we have added subtle bits of information to enhance readability. We do hope you enjoy.

Faithfully yours,

UCMeP

Chancellor Birgeneau’s Fall 2010 Welcome Message to the Campus Community (Abridged Version)

August 26, 2010

It my privilege to welcome back all students who can still afford to attend UC Berkeley. I’d like to give a less enthusiastic “Hi” to staff who have not (yet) been laid-off (or fired), and faculty who have not (yet) left Cal in search of greener pastures (cha-ching!).

We are serving lots of new customers (aka students) this year at Cal. But don’t you worry, our recently revised Cal Master Plan of reaching a student-to-building ratio of 7:1 by the year 2015 is still well within reach.

I am proud to say that the “over-enrollment of California students” at the University of California is steadily being reversed. Very soon only students with deep pockets hailing from outside California will be admitted into the University of California. It just makes sense – and dollars!

Unfortunately, there are still lots of people at Cal who don’t deserve to be here. These mostly include low-income and undocumented students who can’t afford to pay their fair share for a Berkeley degree. But we can all feel comforted by the fact that thanks to the masterful stewardship of the Regents and President Mark G. Yudof, Cal has made tremendous headway in pricing out potential students from middle-class families!

It is my pleasure to announce that every student at Cal is now required to register their genes at the Tang Center. Isn’t that cool?

Graduate students in math, the sciences, and engineering continue to bring in loads of cash to the UC. Thank you for that. Among other things, these cash cows will help Grand Inquisitor Jonathan Poullard expand his growing collection of tacky argyle v-neck sweaters.

On a more sober note, big name faculty are fleeing the UC faster than you can say “The Academic Senate is full of loudmouthed whiners.” As we like to say in Canada, too bad, eh?

And did you know that some university in Shanghai loves Berkeley? But not as much as it ❤ Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and Cambridge.

Here’s some math for you: 300 new staff hired this summer + 900 staff laid off last year = 1200 staff members. It’s math, stupid.

Last year, the Bain Company found tons of creative ways to save us $75 million (mostly through creative accounting). Rest assured, these savings will be passed along to students in the form of brand new Cal1 Cards sponsored by none other than BP. The remaining savings will help cover an exorbitant security deposit for President Mark G. Yudof’s vacation villa on an island somewhere near the Dominican Republic.

The state’s decision to stop recklessly spending money on public education is allowing us to approach our long-sought after goal of having noble corporations like Citigroup fully fund (and oversee) Cal with reckless abandon. As a way to gloss over the progress made on this profitable front, I am now going to tell you about some of the new courses we’ve added to our “American Cultures” program here at Cal. Highlights include: “Ronald Reagan: the Successor to Jesus Christ?” and “Manifest Destiny: A Color-Blind History of How the West was Won.” Following Dean Christopher Edley’s wise recommendation, both courses will be taught online by robots.

We are building lots of new buildings on campus. Dick Blum gets another poverty center. Originally, it was going to be named the Dick Blum Center for Impoverishing Minorities and Developing Countries, but that name was too long to inscribe in 24k gold on the building’s Sub-Saharan ivory facade.

All workers who left the university last year did so on their own volition. And all the furloughs last year were actually requested by greedy staff members who wanted more vacation time.

I sort of remember ordering an administrative review of the alleged police violence against students protesting the 40% fee hikes which will probably force many of them into years of debt. I haven’t yet read or acted on the findings of the 100+ page report that came out in June. It’s not because I don’t care, but because that was SO last year.

Every academic department on campus is experiencing cuts, but I promise, these cuts will not affect our sports teams (Go Bears!). After all, shouldn’t every student have the right to see their tuition subsidize over-priced tickets for a mediocre football team?

The state government’s cuts to public education are draconian. Doesn’t the word “draconian” remind you of Slytherin and Death Eaters. Creepy, huh?

The budget cuts are the state’s fault. My prescription: write some letters to Sacramento or something. After all, a sustained and engaged activist movement that employs a diversity of tactics and which includes the committed participation of students, faculty, staff, union workers, alumni, community members, and (god forbid) administrators might actually stop the transformation of UC Berkeley into something resembling the University of Phoenix business model. Who wants that?

Fiat Lux!

GO BEARS!

Sincerely,

Bobby B.

Chancellor, UC Berkeley

Approved by Overlord George Breslauer

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Welcome Back Letter from UC President Mark G. Yudof

This week marks the start of the 2010-2011 academic year at the UC. What better way to welcome everyone back than to post a very special welcome back letter from the president of the University of California himself, Mark Yudof.

Due to the president’s extended summer vacation touring the tea leaf farms of Sri Lanka,  UCMeP took the opportunity to ghostwrite this letter by President Yudof for the fair and balanced Cal Disorientation Guide. You can read the full Disorientation Guide here.

Full text below: Continue reading

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