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World Workshop #16: "HIGHER ED IN CRISIS: OUR OWN TOWNHALL" + Dinner

5/5/13 at 6:00pm, CSUF Hum 123.

This event is part of The Left Bank's "World Workshops" Series.

Today's theme: HIGHER ED IN CRISIS: OUR OWN TOWNHALL

Co-hosted by Dr. Gayle Brunelle, professor of History at CSUF, and Dr. Hélène Domon, professor of French Studies.

Public higher education is in crisis in the US.  To measure the nationwide extent of this crisis, you can read student activist Ethan Miller's article:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ethan-miller/the-crisis-in-higher-educ_b_2727653.html

The crisis of higher education even more severely affects the CSU system. This workshop will address the concerns of faculty, students and citizens of California regarding the future of their public higher education.  Topics will include:

  • automation and online courses;
  • commoditization of students and education;
  • privatization of public space (Starbucks at library, etc);
  • degree unit reduction and threats to General Education;
  • growth of part-time vs. full-time faculty ratio;
  • drastic reductions in the corps of full professors;
  • loss of "collegial governance" (= faculty involved in university-wide decisions), particularly in curriculum and hiring policies;
  • crowded classes and increasing student-faculty ratio (SFR), now one of the worst in the nation;
  • unfair faculty wages, benefits and working conditions;
  • student fee hikes (300% in past few years), student debt, poor equity and access;
  • growth of administrators vs. faculty hirings;
  • dismantlement of smaller academic programs in the arts, humanities and theoretical science;
  • police repression of student protests on campus;
  • Prop 30 and California's responsibility for higher education.

This workshop is sponsored by the College of Humanities and Social Science, the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, the Left Bank of Orange County, SQE (Students for Quality Education) and CFA (California Faculty Association).

Program (To be updated.  To give a talk, please see instructions below.)

• Dr. Gayle Brunelle, professor of History at CSUF, "Is Higher Education a Bubble?"

• Dr. Hélène Domon, professor of French Studies at CSUF: "A Footnote on Online Courses."

• Ryan Quinn, MA student in History at CSUF,
"Privatizing Public Spaces: Selling the Public University"

• Dr. Steve Jobbitt, professor of History at CSUF:  The Sustainability of Higher Education.”

• Round-Table Discussion: Strategic Plan: Read Between the Lines.”

• Round-Table Discussion: Senate Bill 520: Selling our Courses to Private Vendors: A new threat for Public Education.”

• Round-Table Discussion: Governor’s Health Plan Proposal for CSU Employees: A new threat for CSU Faculty.”

• Round-Table Discussion: "What do faculty and students WANT?"

After the workshop, we will have dinner at Thai Basil in Fullerton.

Give a talk! Anyone at the Left Bank is welcome to submit a proposal for a 10-minute presentation on this topic.  You do not need to be an expert, a teacher or a published writer - just an informed citizen of the Earth who would like to provide personal insights.

Rules of the game:

1) Email a title and short summary to Helene at [masked] at least a few days before the workshop date;

2) Focus your topic on one theme you would like to emphasize;

3) Your presentation is 10 minutes max, followed by an informal group discussion;

4) A PowerPoint is welcome, but not mandatory; lectures, round tables and other forms of expression (videos, poetry, slam, spoken word, songs, art, performance, activities) are welcome.

Cheers, come on, don't hesitate!  Share your knowledge and hopes!  Be part of the people's university where we learn and grow from each other and build tomorrow's world!

Cost:  The workshop is FREE.  Dinner at Thai Basil is optional and costs about $8-15 per person (dinner special for $12.95 includes soup, appetizer, main course, dessert and wine).

Directions and Parking:  From FWY 57, take Nutwood Exit to the west.  Make a right on Folino Dr. and an immediate left into Parking lot F.  Drive around the curve and park close to Humanities building, which is the tallest building near the parking lot, with a beehive-like wall pattern.  Parking is free on weekends.


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  • Helene D.

    Great discussion and road map to protest the commoditization of higher ed.

    May 7, 2013

  • April B.

    I am so sorry to miss this important event, thank you for organizing it. I have been writing letters to the elected ones on several of these topics.

    April 29, 2013

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