11/28/2013

University of California at Berkeley math instructor dares to cross union picket line to teach class

From Inside Education:
What could make a professor more popular than calling off class to support a social movement? At the University of California at Berkeley, an instructor has seen his email message to students about not canceling class go viral -- with largely positive reactions and some criticism as well. 
Alexander Coward, a lecturer in mathematics, emailed his freshman calculus class last week to confirm that class would not be canceled -- despite a union protest that drew the support of many professors and graduate student instructors who did call off class. 
"Whatever the alleged injustices are that are being protested about tomorrow, it is clear that you are not responsible for those things, whatever they are, and I do not think you should be denied an education because of someone else’s fight that you are not responsible for,” he wrote in the email. 
Members of the university’s largest employee union, which represents the university's service, skilled craft and patient care workers, were joined by some faculty members, students and staff in protesting what they consider to be unsafe staffing levels at the University of California’s hospitals and campuses’ health care clinics, said Todd Stenhouse, a spokesman for the union, AFSCME 3299. . . .

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