Friday, June 13, 2008

meeting friday, 2pm

hi everyone,

sorry this notice comes so late. the committee to save east asian languages and korean studies will be holding our next report-back and planning meeting tomorrow. the details are as follows:

time: 2 friday, 6/13
place: upstairs, cafe med on telegraph (across the
street from moe's)

at the top of our agenda for tomorrow is an upcoming fundraiser, slated for monday, 6/23, that we're organizing with key members of the local korean american community. the fundraiser will be held at ob chicken town on telegraph. we'll also plan mailing sessions for the local japanese and korean communities as well as summer-school class visits starting next week.

as usual, our meetings are open, and we welcome your attendance, input, and concern. according to alan tansman (ealc chair) on monday, the berkeley budget will be finalized in mid-july (not mid-june, as we'd previously expected). at that point, we should expect some transparency in the across-the-board budgetary picture, but the for the time being, our knowledge comes from what we've been able to learn on a piecemeal basis. we know that asian languages were hit particularly hard--no one denies this--and we know that english gsis stand to be severely impacted, as well. at our meetings, we welcome the reports of folks who are working to fight the cuts to sseas, ethnic studies, english, and other departments, so please feel free to join us.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

More news soon...

Apologies to our reader community for the lack of recent posts... summer vacation is upon us, and those people who are able to work in Berkeley, the LA area, and other places have all been super busy recently. Thank you all, volunteers and members of the community, for your ongoing interest and support.

The budget crisis is far from over and we'll have more updates soon about activities and news. We know there have been several articles recently in English, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese language media. Please send them on to us so we can post them here - you can comment to this post or mail them to "savekoreanstudies AT".

If you haven't seen it yet, please also check out the latest from UC Berkeley administrators about the budget situation, posted to the Berkeley website yesterday: "From Sacramento, good news, bad news for Berkeley budget".

Monday, June 9, 2008

The costs of instruction - a few goals and numbers

It's difficult to quantify what our education costs but this budget crisis has forced us to do just that. And as we conduct outreach to our friends, families, local communities, and the public at large, we often need to break down the larger figures into numbers that connect directly to our everyday experiences in class.

Our fundraising goals are divided into the long-term and the short-term. For the long term (on a scale of years), we seek endowments and other (more) secure, budget-item sources of funding for language instruction at Berkeley, for the languages within the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and especially for languages that have been traditionally marginalized in their larger institutional contexts, like Korean. The costs of attaining these goals are in the range of millions of dollars; discussing these goals is one of the tasks of our committee for the summer and fall this year.

In the short-term, we're trying to raise $500,000 for the 13 lecturers in Korean, Japanese and Chinese who have been informed that their jobs may not be renewed for the Fall 2008 semester. While figures are not exact, we have the most clarity about the how the number of lost instructional positions translates into class cuts for the Korean language program; it is probably similar for Chinese, Japanese and other languages as well.

Because 3 out of 5 of the returning Korean lecturer positions are threatened, we have been told that the Department of EALC may only be able to sustain 5 semester-long Korean language classes in the 2008-9 academic year. This is a drop of 22 classes from the 2007-8 academic year, when there were 27 class sections. The cost of preserving the three instruction positions and saving 22 sections of Korean language instruction has been estimated at $200,000. This means that the cost of preserving one class is about $9,100. Since each class lasts approximately 15 weeks and is taught 5 days per week, saving one hour of instruction would cost about $120--or, assuming a class of 20 students, $6 per student for each hour of instruction.

Of course, these figures are quite rough--if you have information that helps to clarify or expand upon them, please do share it. Please also feel free to use these numbers in your own fund-raising efforts.