Cuesta College’s Hands Across California

April 15, 2011

Residents from all over San Luis Obispo County are expected to turn out in support of financially-strapped Cuesta College and community colleges up and down the state when the Hands Across California event is held starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 17, at the San Luis Obispo County Government Center, 1055 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo.

An estimated one million people will join hands in person locally and online statewide to raise awareness of the severe budget cuts that the state’s
112 community colleges, including Cuesta, and their nearly three million students have suffered, to call for increased financial support of the colleges and to raise funds to provide annual scholarships for thousands of students in need.

Supporters can register online at Hands Across California volunteer form or volunteer to be a “line marshal” at the gathering Sunday at the County Government Center. Training and a marshal T-shirt will be provided to those volunteering.

Hands Across California is hoping to raise awareness of the plight of the California Community Colleges like never before by being the largest-ever event held by any system of higher education.

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Hands Across California needs to stop spend thrift spending at community colleges and the University of California Berkeley. University of California Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau, Provost Breslauer Must Go: clean sweep Cal. leadership (The author who has 35 years’ consulting experience, has taught at University of California Berkeley, where he was able to observe the culture & the way senior management work)

Cal. Chancellor’s arrogance and poor judgment: pays ex Michigan governor $300,000 for lectures; recruits out of state $50,000 tuition students that displace qualified Californians; Latino enrollment drops while out of state jumps 2010; tuition to Return on Investment (ROI) drops below top 10; NCAA places basketball program on probation.

Chancellor Birgeneau’s ($500,000 salary) fiscal track record is dismal indeed. He would like to blame the politicians, since they stopped giving him every dollar asked for, & the state legislators do share some responsibility for the financial crisis. But not in the sense he means.

It’s not that Birgeneau was unaware that there were, in fact, waste & inefficiencies during his 8 year reign. Faculty & staff raised issues with Birgeneau & Breslauer ($400,000 salary), but when they failed to see relevant action taken, they stopped. Finally, Birgeneau engaged some expensive ($3,000,000) consultants to tell him & the Provost what they should have known as leaders or been able to find out from the bright, engaged people. (Prominent east-coast University accomplishing same at 0 costs)

Cal. has been badly damaged. Good people are loosing their jobs. Cal’s leadership is either incompetent or culpable. Merely cutting out inefficiencies does not have the effect desired. But you never want a crisis to go to waste.

Increasing Cal’s budget is not enough. Take aim at the real source of Cal’s fiscal, & leadership crisis; honorably retire Chancellor Birgeneau, Provost Breslauer.