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Old 03-07-2013
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Default Privatization affects ethnic centers

I attend the University of Texas at Austin as some of you know. And I am usually very proud of my university, I can say that I have received a top notch education. In fact we are number 27th in the world according to Times University Rankings, however, that barely means anything to me, since The University is planning to privatize many of its services.
Here a summary of the plan and how it affects, workers, staff, professors and THE CHICANO community.

Basically, President Bill Powers hired 13 business people to make the university more efficient, and by efficient I am sure he meant more profitable. The people came back with a plan of privatizing services such as on-campus housing, parking and food services. What does that mean? "Expect those contractors to lay off hundreds of workers and cut the pay and benefits — already low — of those who remain."

However here is how it relates to our community and our people:

None have felt the austerity more than the ethnic and identity studies centers (hereafter referred to simply as “the centers”). The narratives the centers teach, already systematically suppressed by an elite who favor one-sided versions of history that exalt American exceptionalism and imperialism, are in danger of becoming more obscure as the centers’ funding continues to shrink. Slashing these centers’ budgets is completely unacceptable as these centers are not only a form of resistance against white / Western supremacist narratives, but also a source of color amongst the university’s 79% white faculty.

There have been several racist themed parties and things of that sort, including a party filled with bleached balloons, a bom-threat that was declared legit simply because the man had a middle-eastern accent, because of course they are all terrorists, right?

You can find more information and read the full letter here: http://reclaimut.net/?q=node/6

Also here is a graphic depicting just how bad the budget cuts are for the minority and ethnic centers.


Of course, I am not only focused on Mexican American centers, all are important, however due to the nature of this forum I highlited those.

What I need from you:
Ideas for action, students are currently planning a Teach-In and hopefully move from there.
If you live in TX - Austin area you can call your representative and ask for them to stop this.
You can also give me your opinion on the matter whether you think this is good/bad or you simply don't give two cents about it.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Default Re: Privatization affects ethnic centers

Yes the percentage cuts are higher for the highlighted centers but those centers also have higher budgets than most of the others. I'm not saying I agree with it but from the image you presented, I really don't have any qualms with it.

It would be nice to see the entire efficiency plan. Just to see where else the cuts are occurring. Also, its unfortunate the service oriented jobs are going to be privatized but it would also be nice to see the current pay/benefits to whats being proposed. Sucks the pay was already low.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Default Re: Privatization affects ethnic centers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal View Post
Yes the percentage cuts are higher for the highlighted centers but those centers also have higher budgets than most of the others. I'm not saying I agree with it but from the image you presented, I really don't have any qualms with it.

It would be nice to see the entire efficiency plan. Just to see where else the cuts are occurring. Also, its unfortunate the service oriented jobs are going to be privatized but it would also be nice to see the current pay/benefits to whats being proposed. Sucks the pay was already low.
Housing can be expected to increase 50%, When I was a freshman 4 years ago, I paid about $4,500 per semester. In addition it can be inferred, based on A&M's privatization plan that parking passes can double, an average parking pass right now is $120 we can expect to pay $258 if privatization goes in effect. Here are more excerpts from the letter, maybe that can answer some of your questions.
The administration demands we all “share the sacrifice” of these hard economic times, yet while students and faculty bear the weight of the austerity measures with imposed tuition hikes and increased workloads, the administrators have sacrificed nothing.

Surely the university can find the money as the UT Regents have recently allocated over 100 million dollars to consolidate their offices into a brand-new 15-story building, and are putting Chancellor Cigarroa in charge of 60 - 240 million dollars in net-savings to put towards “new student success initiatives”. We do not need new initiatives, we need funding for the departments and centers already established on campus. It is also a well-known fact that UT Austin, and the UT System, has an endowment fund worth over 17 billion dollars which it rarely touches unless, it seems, the regents have a project they want done.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Default Re: Privatization affects ethnic centers

Quote:
Originally Posted by _aztec_princess_ View Post
Housing can be expected to increase 50%, When I was a freshman 4 years ago, I paid about $4,500 per semester. In addition it can be inferred, based on A&M's privatization plan that parking passes can double, an average parking pass right now is $120 we can expect to pay $258 if privatization goes in effect. Here are more excerpts from the letter, maybe that can answer some of your questions.
The administration demands we all “share the sacrifice” of these hard economic times, yet while students and faculty bear the weight of the austerity measures with imposed tuition hikes and increased workloads, the administrators have sacrificed nothing.

Surely the university can find the money as the UT Regents have recently allocated over 100 million dollars to consolidate their offices into a brand-new 15-story building, and are putting Chancellor Cigarroa in charge of 60 - 240 million dollars in net-savings to put towards “new student success initiatives”. We do not need new initiatives, we need funding for the departments and centers already established on campus. It is also a well-known fact that UT Austin, and the UT System, has an endowment fund worth over 17 billion dollars which it rarely touches unless, it seems, the regents have a project they want done.
Did the uni release a statement/plan/report with the details of the privatization? If so, I'd like to read it and make my own conclusions. Is that where you got the graphic you posted?
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Old 03-07-2013
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Originally Posted by Cal View Post
Did the uni release a statement/plan/report with the details of the privatization? If so, I'd like to read it and make my own conclusions. Is that where you got the graphic you posted?
I think that is a good idea for both you and I, I will do a search for it.
I got the infograph from www.reclaimut.net

Here it is!

http://www.utexas.edu/president/spee...t_01292013.pdf
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Last edited by tecpaocelotl; 03-07-2013 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _aztec_princess_ View Post
I think that is a good idea for both you and I, I will do a search for it.
I got the infograph from www.reclaimut.net
Quote:
Originally Posted by _aztec_princess_ View Post
Great! I'll take a look at it. I'm genuinely curious about the details (or lack of details) in the report.

I agree with selling surplus energy, launching conservative initiatives, increasing energy awareness, and improving buildings.

I do not agree with contracting parking to a third party but I do agree with increasing UT rates. Maybe they could raise it 3.75% instead if 7.5%? I mean, they need to stay close to the market but they also have to understand you are students.

I agree with the capital modernization program for housing.

I don't agree with moving housing to a third party vendor (since the 10-year gain is so low). Why rock the boat?

I agree with increasing the rates of student meals. It is only 10% but UT is already so much lower than other universities. I'm not sure if I agree with the third party vendor for the food. There are no details in this plan to support or dismiss ReclaimUT's statement. We can assume all we want but it doesn't mean anything until UT obtains a proposal from a third party outlining details.

I agree with the entire technology commercialization part.

I agree with the entire administrative service transformation part. There is always so much dead weight in admin.

Okay so I see some of the issues ReclaimUT is having but in the grand scheme of things, this seems to be a good plan to strengthen the university. Of course as with anything, there is always going to be some shitty stuff occurring but in this case I'm not really getting it. At least not from this report.

Also, I didn't read anything about the centers getting cuts. I'm at work so I couldn't read every detail but if I missed it, let me know where it was. Unless it was there and I was supposed to assume a certain sentence meant something else.

I still want to know where ReclaimUT obtained that graphic OR, how it came up with those figures.

Anyway, its an interesting event for sure.

Last edited by tecpaocelotl; 03-07-2013 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Default Re: Privatization affects ethnic centers

Surprising, I agree with Cal on budget stuff.

During these times, it saddens me a bit to see a lot of things being cut.
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Old 03-26-2013
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Default Re: Privatization affects ethnic centers

UPDATE

Thank you so much for everyone's reply, I actually brought up these concerns the next time that the speaker came to talk.

I asked what the connection is between privatization and the ethnic centers, she pretty much said that it is all part of a broader plan to just have a Eurocentric education and not include minorities. In reality there is no connection, just two things happening simultaneously. Also an advisor clarified that part of the reason that the centers are experiencing budget cuts is because there is low student interest when it comes to majoring in these fields.

Also the 15million dollars or so that the UT regents have taken for their offices is a completely different pile of money than that for our education.

Also this is a BIG deal, and Social Work Council has received a lot of backlash for showing support. The staff member who was supposed to provide food for a reception backed out because she does not have tenure and she wants nothing to do with what reclaimut is doing.

We will have a panel tomorrow night, that includes a distinguished SW professor, whom I loooove to hear speak.

I will update more then, thanks to the people who showed interest. (:
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Last edited by _aztec_princess_; 03-26-2013 at 03:47 PM.
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accurate history , budget cuts , education , mexican american movement

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