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University of California


  • Originally published 08/18/2013

    UCSC's first online course on the Holocaust draws 18K students

    SANTA CRUZ -- UC Santa Cruz's first free course offered on the online Coursera platform has drawn more 18,000 participants, exceeding expectations by instructors of the 10-week literature and history class on the Holocaust."I'm a great believer and am happy this is going on," said professor Peter Kenez, who along with professor Murray Baumgarten have taught the popular course to 300 students at UCSC for decades."All of the student reactions are very positive."Coursera offers more than 400 free courses from more than 60 universities, and students can earn certificates of completion after receiving peer-graded work. UCSC launched the course in July after announcing in February that it was one of four UC campuses that would partner with Coursera, which recently announced $43 million in venture capital investment to support growth....

  • Originally published 07/30/2013

    Karima Bennoune: Killing the Arab Spring in Its Cradle

    Karima Bennoune, a professor of law at the University of California, Davis, is the author of the forthcoming book “Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories From the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism.”...Since it attained independence from France in 1956, Tunisia has had some of the region’s most progressive laws relating to women and families. Many fear that Ennahda is trying to undo those laws. Amel Grami, an intellectual historian at Manouba University, whose campus was besieged last year by Salafi activists opposed to women’s equality and secular education, says the Arab Spring has “triggered a male identity crisis” that has magnified the extreme positions taken by Islamist parties.

  • Originally published 06/21/2013

    Tony Platt: UC and Native Americans -- Unsettled Remains

    Tony Platt is a visiting professor of justice studies at San Jose State University and the author of "Grave Matters: Excavating California's Buried Past."In 1974, Berkeley's distinguished anthropologist Robert Heizer issued a public mea culpa for the practices of his profession in treating "California Indians as though they were objects." In particular, he apologized for the "continued digging up of the graves of their ancestors."In 1999, the department of anthropology at Berkeley issued an apology to the cultural descendants of Ishi, a Yahi native, for sending his brain to the Smithsonian after his death in 1916. "We regret our department's role in what happened to Ishi, a man who had already lost all that was dear to him."This was a good beginning to a journey of accountability and reconciliation. But since then, the University of California has been largely silent about its role as the legal owner of a vast collection of native remains stashed in basements in campuses throughout the state. It owes at the very least 10,000 more apologies....

  • Originally published 05/17/2013

    Seth Rosenfeld: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of UC

    Seth Rosenfeld is the author of "Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power," which received the 2013 Ridenhour Book Prize.Once upon a time, the University of California was a sacred trust, the top tier of a model educational system that helped lift the state to unprecedented prosperity. It was jealously protected from outside political interference.Now UC is more often described in profane terms. The state's entire higher education system has been under assault for decades — free access is long gone; investment per student has shrunk; some rankings have slipped. The passage of Proposition 30 last year will help repair some of the damage, but UC's stature has been diminished and with it the dream of a truly excellent education for every qualified native son and daughter.

  • Originally published 03/14/2013

    Jon Wiener: For-Profit Fiasco: California Public Colleges Turn to Web Courses

    Jon Wiener is an historian who teaches at UC Irvine, and a contributing editor to The Nation.Here’s how California treats its public colleges and universities: first, cut public funds, and thus classes; then wait for over-enrollment, as students are unable to get the classes they need to graduate; finally, shift classes online, for profit. That’s the way Laila Lalami, UC Riverside creative writing professor, explained it in a recent tweet, and that’s pretty much the whole story behind the bill introduced this week by the Democratic leader of the state senate, Darrell Steinberg. His bill requires California’s community colleges, along with the 23 Cal State schools and the ten-campus university, to allow students to substitute online courses for required courses taught by faculty members. The key to the proposal: the online courses will be offered by profit-making companies.

  • Originally published 01/29/2013

    In California, Jerry Brown has chance to restore luster to state's higher ed. legacy

    LOS ANGELES — During a 1960s renaissance, California’s public university system came to be seen as a model for the rest of the country and an economic engine for the state. Seven new campuses opened, statewide enrollment doubled, and state spending on higher education more than doubled. The man widely credited with the ascendance was Gov. Edmund G. Brown, known as Pat....Last year, he told voters that a tax increase was the only way to avoid more years of drastic cuts. Now, with the tax increase approved and universities anticipating more money from the state for the first time in years, the second Governor Brown is a man eager to take an active role in shaping the University of California and California State University systems.

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