Saturday, May 3, 2008

Next meeting Sunday, 5/4, 1pm

The next working meeting will be tomorrow at 1pm at Cafe Med. See link for directions in yesterday's post. All are welcome to help press conference and event preparation, letter-writing campaigns, petition-signing, and other pressing work.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Working meeting Saturday

Are you interested in getting involved? Please come and lend a hand with letter writing and other work starting at 10am, Cafe Med on Telegraph between Haste and Dwight. Map here.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Korea Times articles online

A few articles have recently appeared in the Korea Times (한국일보) SF edition. The most recent one, "버클리 한국어강의 축소저지모임" (Group for Stopping the Cuts of Berkeley Korean Classes) talks about the role played by this blog and the Facebook page.

Another article (referred to in the article above) is from April 29, titled "버클리대 한국어강의 '축소막자'" (Let's Stop the Cuts to Korean Language Classes at Berkeley). This describes the information sharing and organizing meeting convened on Sunday evening, April 27 at the Institute for East Asian Studies.

How to get involved

Feel free to email if you want to placed on the mailing list, want to do something more direct (there is plenty), or have any other information. This page will be frequently updated so check back often.

Some practical things that you can do in the meanwhile:

SIGN THE PETITION It is posted as an Item. Print it out, sign it, and get others to sign it as well. Return to Christine Hong before Tuesday 5/6, 4pm to 322 Wheeler.

SIGN UP to be a Korean Studies minor or express your desire to take Korean classes as a non-minor next year. Or if you're taking another language, sign up for a major/minor in that language.

POST FLIERS AND SPREAD THE WORD. The flyer announcing next week's press conference can be downloaded as a .jpg file, printed and posted widely. Gain support. This isn't relevant to just Koreans--it is affecting departments all over, especially the East Asian Languages and Cultures department. (Check Items for the fact sheet)

PRESS CONFERENCE There is a press conference slated for Wednesday 11am in the IEAS conference room. If you're a part of an organization on campus get them to endorse the press conference (contact if you want to endorse). Otherwise, show up and show overwhelming support.

SOLICIT DONATIONS. At a bare minimum, between $150,000 and $300,000 may be needed to preserve the Korean program at its current level for the next year. More information coming soon on this.

Press conference flier

Click to enlarge then download

Letter writing--PROTEST THE CUTS!

Forwarded message from graduate students in the EALC department--
Let's contact the CA gov't and UCB administrators, because flooding inboxes, mailboxes and fax machines is also a good way to get noticed. Here's a contact list for California gov't officials and UCB administrators to send your letters to:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-558-3160

Find the address of your California state legislators by entering ZIP on
this page:

Chancellor Birgeneau
Office of the Chancellor
200 California Hall # 1500
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1500
Phone (510) 642-7464
Fax (510) 643-5499

George Breslauer
200 California Hall [map]
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1500
Phone 510-642-1961
Fax: 510-643-5499

Prof. Mark A. RICHARDS, Executive Dean of Letters and Science
285 McCone Hall
94720 -4767
Phone: +1 510 642-8560

Janet S. BROUGHTON, Dean of Arts and Humanities
201 Campbell Hall
94720 -2920
Phone: +1 510 642-5396
Fax: +1 510 642-7578

Christina Maslach, Vice Provost, Undergraduate Division
200 California Hal
94720 -1500
Phone: +1 510 642-9594
Fax: +1 510 642-9483

Andrew J. SZERI, Graduate Dean
424 Sproul Hall
94720 - 5900
Phone: +1 510 642-5472
Fax: +1 510 642-6366

Other administrators:


Note: this document is available for viewing and download here.

Dear Chancellor Birgeneau, Executive Dean Breslauer, and Dean Broughton:

We, the undersigned, protest the unfair cuts made to UC Berkeley's East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC) Department, where it is predicted that 66% of the Korean classes, 54% of the Chinese classes, and 40% of the Japanese classes on campus will be eliminated as of Fall 2008. Not only will the number of courses offered by EALC be drastically reduced, but also, the Korean program faces outright extinction. We are outraged at this prospect and concerned that Berkeley’s EALC curriculum, which already trails behind both UCLA and Stanford, will not be able to recover from the devastation wreaked upon it by these budget cuts.

These cuts will greatly damage Berkeley’s international standing as a major research university. But even more serious is the unprecedented negative impact it will have on us, the Berkeley student population (45% of which is of Asian descent), and on the ability of the university to fulfill its fundamental educational mission to the campus community. Undergraduate and graduate students in departments outside the College of Letters and Sciences will not be able to pursue Korean, Chinese, or Japanese language study. Students in related fields of economics, political science, history, amongst others, will be unable to fulfill their educational aspirations and their departmental requirements. If these budget cuts continue, the ability of anyone to learn these global and heritage languages will be imperiled.

In a recent interview published in the April 23rd issue of The Berkeleyan, Nathan Brostrom, Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Administration, states: “I don’t think it’s strategic at all to do wholesale or arbitrary layoffs, because that can do a lot more harm to the campus than what we could gain in budget savings.” Yet with firings impending for instructors in Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and other Asian languages, this type of harm is exactly what is slated to happen.

East Asian languages are amongst the most in-demand languages on the Berkeley campus, and the demand only continues to grow. As heritage languages to a huge percentage of the student population, they are a vital resource and part of the multiethnic fabric of Berkeley, the United States, and the Pacific Rim. In practical terms, reduction in instructional personnel also means that non-heritage students will be deprived of the opportunity to learn Korean, Japanese, and Chinese languages for the first time, just as the demands for access to these languages are clearly on the rise.

Berkeley is the flagship campus in the UC system and currently enjoys a worldwide reputation as a leading U.S. research center and educational institution with regard to East Asia. We believe that the present policy sends a resoundingly negative message not only to all current students and potential students at Berkeley but also to the Pacific Rim community of scholars, opinion-makers, and donors. Berkeley does not deserve this reputation.

We strongly ask that you abandon this decision to cut these vital East Asian languages and work toward an alternative that both supports the EALC program, in general, and fully preserves the Korean program, in particular.


Name Major SID


Meeting Thursday, 5/1 at 10am at Cafe Med, on Telegraph between Dwight and Haste, next to Zebra. All are welcome!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Why Saving Korean and other East Asian Languages Concerns You

At Berkeley, the flagship campus of the major university in the Pacific Rim, ethnic Asian students represent a near majority—45% out of 40,000. The Department of EALC (East Asian Languages and Cultures) currently serves a huge campus-wide need at Berkeley by offering East Asian language classes for majors and non-majors alike.

Yet, as of Fall 2008, only Letters and Science students—and likely only EALC majors and minors—will be allowed to enroll in EALC language classes. What this means is that undergraduate and graduate students in departments outside EALC will not be able to pursue Chinese, Japanese, or Korean language study at Berkeley.

Here's the breakdown of the impact on EALC as of Fall 2008:

➢ Percentage of classes to be cut from each language in EALC
o Japanese 40%
o Chinese 54%
o Korean 66%
➢ Numbers of students to be cut from next year's classes
o Chinese: 550
o Japanese: 496
o Korean: 484

The Specific Case for Korean at CAL:

Korean, which has historically been neglected at Berkeley and which accordingly sustains just a minor and no graduate program, is in danger of being decimated. Although all East Asian languages at Berkeley will be severely impacted by Schwarzenegger's education budget cuts, the majors and minors in Chinese and Japanese will, at least, be sustained.

The inception of Korean Studies at Berkeley can be traced to door-to-door fundraising in Oakland by student members of the campus organization, Sori (later the Committee for Korea Studies). Because of their grassroots efforts, the first modern Korean history class was established in 1986 at Berkeley. Yet, Korean Studies cannot continue to rely on outside community donations to keep alive. Without the institutional will to support Korean Studies, it will continue to be vulnerable in times of budget crises, even though Korean enrolls more students than Russian or Arabic and usually ranks 7th or 8th each year in terms of total enrollment on campus.

Consider, for example, UCLA as a model of Korean Studies done right: UCLA boasts a thriving Korean program and offers an extensive array of Korea-related courses. UCLA also offers a Korean major.
o UCLA (as of Fall 2008): 10 faculty (3 professors, 7 lecturers)
o Berkeley (as of Fall 2008): 3 faculty (1 professor, 2 lecturers)