Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chancellor's Response to Durant Hall Occupation is Full of Crap

 "Oh, the Humanity!"  We had a little fun picking apart the Chancellor's recent letter to the Campus Community.  Enjoy.

From: Robert J. Birgeneau, Chancellor
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2010 11:09 AM
To: Academic Senate Faculty, Staff, All Academic Titles, Other Members
of the Campus Community, Emeriti, Students,
Subject: Vandalism at Durant Hall

Dear Campus Community:

We are writing to condemn in the strongest terms the overnight criminal vandalism in Durant Hall that spilled over onto Bancroft and Telegraph avenues.  Initial investigation indicates that about 100
people came onto campus with clear intent to break into at Durant Hall which is currently a construction site.  

Initial investigation = recycled press reports.  This administration doesn't do any original thinking.

At this time we believe that the majority of those involved in the vandalism were not Berkeley students.  

Ah, the dreaded "outside agitators" strike again.  This line is borrowed from the last press release, and the last chancellor, the last student movement, and the last century of unimaginative university administration.
We call on any of our students or other campus members who may have observed last night's criminal vandalism and violence to come forward and help police identify those responsible for these reprehensible actions.
"Calling all snitches, Calling all snitches".  At first glance, you might think there's some irony in this, that they ask the victims of their police and their policies to help further their own oppression.  However, when you dig a little deeper, you see that this is a reflex.  Our mind-addled Administrators don't know any better.  See, the Administration outsources everything, precisely because they are overpaid and incompetent, and because they simply can't imagine a world in which they actually have to work to produce anything. 

So this call for snitches is no different than when they outsourced the job of efficiency to high-priced consultants Bain and Co. for $3 million.  Or when they hired a detective to investigate the protest at the Chancellor's house despite the fact that they run a whole police department, and then they even had the nerve to complain because the Guv wouldn't pay for their private dick.   The guiding principle here is don't do any work that you can hire another person to do for you, as long as you aren't paying with your own money.

But there is real irony here.  It is that the Administration has not offered to pay any money to the suckers students they want to rat out their friends.  Come on, you cheap, privatization-happy bastards, put up some freaking reward money.  Don't ask us to do this for "honor", or some other old-fashioned principle that you don't remotely believe in.  Stay true to your own principles.  If you want to shape students in your image, you have to give us a chance to sell ourselves out for cold hard cash.

Sadly, such action does incredible damage to our advocacy efforts with Sacramento and with the California public to preserve public higher education.  We call on our campus community to work together to express our support for State reinvestment in public higher education in ways that uphold Berkeley's values of peaceful protest and freedom of expression.
This level of stupidity falls somewhere between cute and annoying.  Our hapless Administrators actually think that they still have some credibility in Sacramento!  Maybe they forgot how to read the newspaper (they probably outsourced that too).  Maybe their hypnotherapists helped them forget the UC compensation scandal?  Maybe they are fooled by the fact that politicians they go to dinner with make nicey-nice.  Maybe noone told them that this is how politicians operate: press the flesh, smile, say something polite, and then when you get up to leave the table, they smirk and talk about what a bunch of lazy, greedy, incompetent douches UC Administrators are.

So c'mon silly Administrators, just leave the Sacramento advocacy to us. You already made your half-assed appeals, remember?  And then you begged us - the campus community - to take over yet another job that we pay you for (to secure funding from Sacramento).  It's a challenge that we accepted (not least because we're also lobbying to get rid of you).   Go back to the office and get a massage, burn a 100-dollar bill, or skype that neo-con buddy you've been meaning to catch up with.  Do whatever it is you do to pass the time at
California hall while your generously paid army of administrative underlings mucks about doing the real work of harassing activists, typing into those mystifying "computer" machines, and attaching your names to the old emails they are recycling.  

Seriously?  Your job was to taking care of the University.  Administration FAIL.  Now we are stepping up and doing it.  We've done a much better job in one semester than you have done in years.  So don't get mad when we drive a hard bargain, like we did on Thursday night.

Robert J. Birgeneau
soon to be ex- Chancellor

George Breslauer
soon to be ex- Executive Vice-Chancellor & Provost

Harry Le Grande
soon to be ex- Vice-Chancellor Student Affairs

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