Monday, June 22, 2009

UC's Budget Cuts and Disciplining Academic Labor

Irvine -- On the 22 June 2009 edition of Subversity, a KUCI public affairs program, in the first half hour, we address the University of California's proposal to impose as high as an 8% pay cut on UC employees.

We talk with union leader Bob Samuels, who has been the president of UC-AFT, the union representing lecturers and librarians at the University of Calfiornia system. The University would have to get the UC-AFT's consent to impose the pay cut on them. Samuels, a writing lecturer at UCLA, believes the University has discretionary funds that could help alleviate the budget crisis.

Samuels is the author of six books, including an upcoming book on university politics. He has PhDs in English and Psychoanalysis from Kent State and the University of Paris. See his Q and A on the budget crisis. And also the letter to UC President Mark Yudof from emeritus Physics Prof. Charles Schwartz, a UC budgeting critic, Budget Lies .

On the second half of the show, we re-air portions of our November 2005 interview with Jeffrey Schmidt, the author of "Disciplined Minds," a critique of how academic and other salaried professional labor is "disciplined", with universities and other employers eager to serve idelological (corporate or government) interests. Himself a UCI graduate student from 1975-1980, Schmidt relates how he managed to form a progressive group, Science for the People at UCI, and how he stood up for a Japanese American fellow graduate student, who had passed away before he finished his Ph.D, and the resistance from a university physics professor (who brought in Pentagon contracts and who would later win a Nobel prize) when Schmidt and other graduate students wanted the university to award the student a Ph.D posthumously. Schmidt's book led to his firing from the American Institute of Physics, his long-time employer, and his ultimately successful campaign to seek redress and vindication is a model of public organizing. See his website: The catalog entry for his 1980 dissertation is here:

To listen to the show, click here: .

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