Editorial: A strike by UC academic workers would tarnish the prestigious university system
The University of California System has struggled over the past few years to address the growing problems in the higher education system, from overcrowded campuses to plummeting student enrollment. As UC administration and campus leaders tried to grapple with their growing student-population problem, new strike waves at four campuses appeared to indicate a movement toward the left, and more significantly, toward revolutionary change.
In 2010, five UC Berkeley professors walked off the job in protest of the university’s mishandling of sexual assaults committed by students on campus. In 2013, a six-person “strike team” representing seven faculty positions, including three professors, a history teacher and a science instructor, also walked off the job, demanding that the university implement and fund reforms to address the growing problems of campus overcrowding and overcrowded classrooms.
In June 2014, a strike led by faculty at Riverside University of San Bernardino went on for three months, with no agreement reached. The strike also involved a faculty strike against UC Riverside, in which 25 faculty members joined.
In 2015, a faculty strike at UCLA started by a single faculty member, and quickly expanded to 23 professors, spread over three campuses, including UC Santa Barbara. The faculty strike was part of a wave of five large-scale strikes at UC campuses in 2012 and 2013. That same year, UC San Diego faculty members led strikes against the university administration.
In 2015, the Academic Senate’s Academic Senate President, Karen Holmquist, said:
“The Academic Senate applauds the faculty members who are participating in the current walk-outs. We are proud to be a part of what is moving the United States further and further to the left. We stand with the faculty in their solidarity, and we support their efforts. A walk out has the potential to be a turning point in our country. When it’s successful, it will be a step toward true social justice.”
And in June 2016, the Academic Senate President, Karen Holmquist, addressed a rally at UC Berkeley. As she said:
“I would like to speak to you right