This week, UC Berkeley cancelled a student-led course on Palestine after pressure from various groups affiliated with Israel, UC President Janet Napolitano openly campaigned for Hillary Clinton and the often-criticized but nonetheless influential USNWR rankings affirmed that despite its financial struggles, the UC system’s campuses are still considered the finest public universities in the nation (for a more meaningful story about USNWR, look to the Fresno State link). Oh, and and the UC’s debt is $17,200,000,000.
9/15 – Suspension of controversial Palestine class at UC Berkeley sparks debate (Guardian): The class, entitled “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis” has been accused of being “anti-Israel and antisemitic” and “intended to indoctrinate students to hate the Jewish state.” Hatem Bazian, a lecturer, was the faculty sponsor of the course. In the article, he notes the class went through the required approval processes.
9/15 – Berkeley Bans a Palestine Class (AcademeBlog): The AAUP’s blog presents a thorough timeline of the controversy.
9/13 – California schools score high in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 college rankings (SFGate): Berkeley is the nation’s best public university, according to the newest iteration of the USNWR ranking, a scheme more often criticized than praised. Nonetheless, this is the 15th year in a row in which Berkeley tops the list.
9/13 – Fresno State’s graduation rate puts school No. 1 in U.S. News and World Report ranking (SacBee): More meaningfully than the above, Fresno State was found to lead the nation on a metric that compares an institutions graduation rate with its expected rate, based on demographic profiles of students.
9/15 – University of California debt soars to $17 billion; regents consider new borrowing policy (SJMN): As the UC system approaches its limit of debt borrowing, the regents may consider creating a new policy to allow for more borrowing.
9/11 – Column: UC President Janet Napolitano leaves no doubt she’s with Clinton (SFChron): The UC president is hosting a fundraiser for Clinton, which the Chron suggests is the first instance of a UC president actively campaigning for a presidential candidate. According to the article:
Legal guidelines issued by UC’s office of general counsel say the university “may not endorse or contribute to candidates for elective office.” It also says UC officials “should use care to avoid confusion between private and public roles.