University of California president Mark Yudof met on Wednesday with the faculty of UCLA to explain his furlough policy, among other things. As part of the university system’s budget cuts, faculty and staff are required to take between 10 and 26 days off without pay over the next year.
The original plan was to allow faculty to determine their own furlough days, but that proved unworkable. UCLA Today reports Yudof’s explanation:
“This is a partial mea culpa,” Yudof said. “In general, the calendar and how many days you meet with your students is a faculty matter. Who am I to tell you how many days you should stand at the podium? Then I started hearing from families and students and legislators.”
Those groups brought up the issue of raising student fees and then cutting back on the number of instruction days. The response was so negative that Yudof said he changed his mind about allowing faculty to determine their own furlough days.
“It would be a debacle or just short of one,” he said. “It would be a real problem for the university. I didn’t want UC suffering the ill will of those populations.”
You can follow Yudof on Twitter. He’s surprisingly good at tweeting.
Update Commenter Tim points us to an op-ed in today’s Sacramento Bee by UC Berkeley education professor Alan Schoenfeld. He’s distinctly unhappy with Yudof’s tweets.