Our Weekly Reader for the Week of 3/17/13

Much this week. A reminder of my main sources during the week, beyond the usual media:




http://www.uillinois.edu/cms/one.aspx?portalId=1117531&pageId=1250351  (The e-Summary, usually there by early aft.)



1. Coverage of the three-day SEIU strike 3/11-3/13. The current status is that they are back at work and negotiations will continue this week. (Blocks of stories from the News-Gazette, Daily Illini and WILL.)












2. Coverage of the ongoing pension legislation. The current status is that lots of bills are under discussion. Nothing has passed either house. It’s important to contact your local representatives. The bills which are supported by the WeAreOne coalition (which includes the IFT) are SB2404/HB3162. Oh yes, and the State of Illinois accepted an assertion by the SEC that it fraudulently described the state of its pension system when it sold bonds. (Quinn cleaning up one Blagojevic mess.)

a. The latest legislatively

Winter 2012-2013
Why be a Member of SUAA?
Click Here to read the pdf

March 15, 2013
Mini Briefing 03.015.2013
Click Here to read the Mini Briefing




b. Pensions –Op-ed

(Robert Rich (IGPA) and Tom Conry (SUAA) in the 3/17 N-G.)

(Details of the IGPA plan described above)

(Dan Montgomery op-ed, registration required, and not in E-summary I think.)

(Pensions are payment for work. What a concept!)

(Many large cultural boards in Chicago, comprised of “business leaders” who tut-tut state pension shenanigans have underfunded the pensions for their own staffs)

(Former Gov. Thompson — “We need to stop demonizing unions.”)

c. SEC (“Municipal investors are no less entitled to truthful risk disclosures than other investors,” George S. Canellos, acting director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said in a statement.)

http://www.rrstar.com/updates/x1959353837/Illinois-settles-SEC-fraud-charge-over-pensions  [AP story]


[These worked when I got to them through google, but not this morning so google “SEC, Illinois, wsj.com”]



3. Organizational messes at Harvard, UVa and elsewhere, see also variously in the e-summary.


a. Background: many California state schools do not provide sufficient basic courses for students to graduate on time:



b. Opinions

From an editor-at-large at the Chronicle of Higher Education


From Duncan Black, on the business model for MOOCs: “Sure, there’s a model in which a bunch of grifters get paid, but there’s no model such that prestigious state and private universities actually make money off of them. Institutions are selling a pedigree, credentialing, networking, social experience, education, and a brand. MOOCs pretty much nullify all of those things. But grifters gonna grift, and administrators gotta justify their existence.” (bold added)



5. An article called “How Washington could make college tuition free (without spending a penny more on education) by Jordan Weissmann. Spoiler alert: it transfers all governament support from private universities (both non-profit and profit) to states to support their public universities. Pushback from the Harvard and U. Phoenix etc. makes this a non-starter.


6. Finally … “A comparison of public sector workers in Illinois with their peers in the private sector shows a general wage and salary penalty for state and local government employees, according to research by a University of Illinois labor expert.”


====================From the e-summary, linked at the top======================================

3/11 — pp.4-6 (NG, DI) On the strike, see above
3/11 — pp.24-27 (NYT) “Harvard search of e-mail stuns its faculty members”, continuation of last week
3/11 — pp.28-36 (IHE) “Study finds minimal increases in average faculty salary”
3/11 — pp.47-40 (NYT) “NYU’s global leader is tested by faculty at home”, see last week.

3/12 — pp.1-7  (various) SEIU strike
3/12 — pp.8-9 (Mystateline.com) Coverage of Robert Bruno’s paper
3/12 — pp.16-17 (NG) “Senate won’t consider honorary degrees in closed session”
3/12 — pp.30-35 (various) Harvard and the e-mail
3/12 — pp.36-38 (centredaily.com) “Penn State releases confidential copy of Freeh contract; cost for investigation $8 million”
3/12 — pp.39-40 (AP) “Scandal costs for Penn State top $41 million” — once again, our Big Ten competition is besting us!
3/12 — pp.48-50 (WSJ) “Colleges’ latest offer: deals // Liberal-arts schools dangle bargains in response to concern over cost, value”
3/12 — pp.51-52 (DI) “Proposed state budget cuts would impact faculty most”
3/12 — pp.53-56  (NYT, Trib) “SEC accuses Illinois of securities fraud”, see above

3/13 — p.2 (Trib) “Illinois: from deadbeat to fraud”, editorial
3/13 — pp.9-12 (NYT,Chron) On California MOOC bill, see above
3/13 — pp.21-23 (AP) “UC, CSU foundations remain obscure despite new law”, making them subject to the state Open Records Act.

3/14 — pp.1-2 (NG) “Negotiations set as strike comes to an end”
3/14 — pp.13-14 (Crain’s) “Chris Kennedy teaches social justice at Dominican U.”
3/14 — p.15 (Trib) “2 pension measures advance in Senate”
3/14 — p.16 (Crain’s) “Biz, civic groups blast Cullerton pension plan”
3/14 — p.21 (Trib) “E-students make university a goliath”, on Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University
3/14 — pp.22-23 (IHE,) “U.Va. remains battleground of national debate about governance report”
3/14 — pp.24-28 (Chron) “U. of Virginia’s Board lacked common sense, AAUP says in scathing report”

3/15 — p.7 (NG/AP) “Pension fixes see slight progress”
3/15 — pp.15-20 (Atlantic) “How Washington could make college tuition free”, see #5 above.
3/15 — pp.37-40 (Chron) “North Dakota hasn’t entirely warmed to its new chancellor”

Published by CFA

The Campus Faculty Association (CFA) is an advocacy organization for faculty and other campus workers committed to shared governance, academic freedom, and a strong faculty voice on campus.

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