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Davis, California

Friday, April 12, 2024

Letter to the editor

Dear UC Davis faculty members,

On Sept. 24, we began the year by walking out of our classes and workplaces in solidarity. Students, faculty, workers and staff who faced furloughs, layoffs, pay cuts and tuition hikes all left their buildings, classes and jobs to rally and march together against the privatization of education.

Workers and students showed overwhelming support for faculty grievances that day. We called attention to the lack of budget transparency and to faculty issues around self-governance. When the administration claimed the Sept. 24 walkout was led chie?y by faculty concerns, we refused to let that claim stand. We insisted we shared one struggle, and wouldn’t be divided by departments, titles, age or salary. We called ourselves equals and took the future of our education, workplace and university into our own hands. But since the walkout, the faculty voice has been almost entirely absent from the opposition to student fee increases and worker layoffs.

From Sept. 24 to November’s UC-wide Days of Action and strikes against the 32 percent fee hikes, the UC protests escalated and spread to include state colleges, junior and community colleges and K-12 public schools throughout California. What began in the fall is now the largest coordinated protest movement in UC history. While UC Davis students and workers continue to act, organize and protest, the UC Davis faculty has all but disappeared.

We want to know why.

All but a small, committed handful of you have been absent at rallies, assemblies, a three-day strike, three open occupations, bike protests, teach-ins and a recent weekend-long study-in at Shields Library.

As the Mar. 4 Statewide Call to Action to Defend Public Education approaches, we call again for your solidarity and participation. We invite you to join us to discuss the barriers to faculty participation at UC Davis in a public forum this Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Wellman 6.

Please join us in the conversation.

Natalie Yahr, Alicia Edelman, Alejandro Gonzalez, Brandon Sowers, Sharmi Basu, Kurt Vaughn, Sara-Juliet Lauro, Karl Frost, William Forkin, Katherine Meler, Magalie Rabasa, Lobna Darwish, Kristin Koster, Yoo-hyun Oak, Geoffrey Wildanger, Alison Tanner, Lauren Corcio and Brian Sparks contributed to this letter.


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