Monthly Archives: July 2011

Fall Books

Because the life of “contingent hire” faculty is so exciting (insert comparative: “it’s like doing parkour and jello shots during an earthquake!” etc.) I now have 3 classes for the Fall. Probably. Or, as the department chair suggested, “We’ll see.” It all depends on whether SFSU students can be lured into the classroom by the somewhat innocuous course title “Humanities of the Americas”:

“Humanities of American cultures emphasizing Latin America and the Caribbean. Cultural/historical framework for study of ancient, colonial, and modern humanistic expressions in architecture, folk arts, poetry, painting, murals, cinema, music.”

At any rate, all the books are ordered now, and I can spend the few remaining weeks of the Summer grinding out that last twenty pages.


Helena Viramontes, Under the Feet of Jesus

Ana Maria Shua, Death as a Side Effect

Ernesto Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries

Joseph Conrad, Nostromo

Alejo Carpentier, Explosion in a Cathedral

William Shakespeare, The Tempest


Helena Viramontes, Under the Feet of Jesus

Lauren Beukes, Moxyland

Victor Pelevin, Homo Zapiens

Massimo Carlotto, The Goodbye Kiss

Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism

Ana Maria Shua, Death as a Side Effect


Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett

The Girl by Meridel LeSueur

I Love Yous are For White People by Lac Su

Under the Feet of Jesus by Helen Viramontes

Socialism 2011

Last weekend Glenn Greenwald spoke at the Socialism 2011 conference. It’s not clear to me that Greenwald– a constitutional lawyer who writes for Salon– is actually a socialist, but he is certainly a perceptive and articulate speaker.


Less for More

There will be a 15% tuition increase at CSU this Fall and in all likelihood another 15% increase next Spring. From Inside Higher Ed:
“Several of the biggest rates of increase in tuition prices at public institutions occurred on California State University campuses: tuitions there increased between 38 and 47 percent from the 2007-8 academic year to 2009-10. (Some of the system’s campuses, including East Bay, Fullerton, Channel Islands and Bakersfield, also saw among the largest increases in net price.)”
How do we know there will be additional increases?
CSU Faces Unprecedented Budget Cuts
The California State University received a $650 million cut to its 2011-12 budget Thursday and could face an additional $100 million reduction if state revenue forecasts are not met.
i.e., the State is betting that $4 billion in additional revenue will somehow appear in the coming months. If that does not happen, another $100 million will be amputated from CSU.
The cut brings the CSU’s new budget to a total of $2.1 billion and represents a 23 percent decrease in state support (year over year).
“What was once unprecedented has unfortunately become normal as the CSU will be cut by well over $500 million for the second time in three years,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed.  “The magnitude of this cut, compounded with the uncertainty of the final amount of the reduction, will have negative impacts on the CSU long after this upcoming fiscal year has come and gone.”
The governor and legislature in March had already approved a budget that reduced the CSU’s funding by $500 million. The CSU received an additional $150 million cut when the governor signed the 2011-12 budget this week, which includes deep reductions to higher education and relies heavily on revenue projections to close an estimated $26.2 billion state budget gap.
The governor for months warned of further cuts to higher education if his proposal to extend several taxes was not supported by the legislature and ultimately the state’s voters.  Lacking the necessary support, Brown has vowed to try and reinstate the taxes in a Nov. 2012 ballot initiative.
To address the “first” $500 million budget reduction, the legislature and governor agreed that the CSU would enroll 10,000 fewer students this fall, apply an estimated $146 million in revenue from a tuition fee increase already approved, and reduce the 23 campus budgets by a combined $281 million and the Chancellor’s Office budget by nearly $11million. These cuts will be made through administrative and instructional efficiencies, as well as expenditure reductions in travel, information technology, equipment, and book and journal purchases by libraries.
The CSU plans to address the additional $150 million to potentially $250 million budget reduction at its Board of Trustees meeting July 12. Chancellor Reed will recommend an additional tuition fee increase of 12 percent or $294 per semester effective fall 2011 to avert devastating and lasting damage to student access, student services and program quality.
The $2.1 billion in state funding allocated to the CSU in the 2011-12 budget will be the lowest level of state support the system has received since the 1998-99 fiscal year($2.16 billion), yet the university currently serves an additional 90,000 students. If the system is cut by an additional $100 million, state support would be at its lowest level since 1997-98.