Letters to the Editor

    Editor:

    We are writing in response to the news article “”Gov. Davis on hand to break ground for new buildings”” from your June 3 issue.

    While one dissenting opinion was briefly conveyed, the majority of the article paints the involvement of Cal(IT)2 in UCSD affairs in an entirely positive light.

    We would like to encourage your readers to question the motives and supposed benefits of having these 50 or so corporations give so much money to UCSD.

    Cal(IT)2 money comes with strings attached. These corporations have tremendous power in determining course curricula, major requirements and the direction of research at Sixth College and elsewhere. Furthermore, students are serving as market research subjects for the products and services (e.g. PDAs) used in classes.

    These are not donations, but investments, much like the campaign contributions that ensure that our politicians serve business needs over those of the public good. That’s how Dick Cheney’s oil buddies got to write our national energy policy. That’s why Gov. Davis let Californians get bilked in the bogus, manufactured “”energy crisis.”” And now that’s why UCSD will heed the beck and call of Cal(IT)2, even when the profit motive runs counter to scientific integrity, student empowerment and educational priorities.

    Some argue that we should be grateful for private investment in the university, or that while the situation is not ideal, we should not complain because we need the money so badly. Realize, however, that particularly since Congress passed the Bayh-Dole Bill in 1980, private money has been supplanting, not adding to, public funding for education. Overtly or covertly, these private investments lead to private ownership.

    We are led to believe that Cal(IT)2 is donating money to help UCSD achieve the public interest. Look at it from the other side, and you will realize that Sixth College’s state and federal funding is subsidizing these companies’ research and development and employee training agenda. Even Mark Kelly, a Cal(IT)2 chief technology officer, had the audacity to state that “”it’s absolutely critical that universities pick up the slack”” for corporate research (Aug. 4, 2001, issue of North County Times).

    We need to question the administrators, politicians and business leaders, and resist the intrusion of the corporate agenda on campus. We need to reduce our dependence on private money by calling on the legislature to adequately fund public institutions. And we need to educate ourselves about this corporate takeover. In doing the latter, Campus Greens encourage everyone to check out articles on Cal(IT)2 in the New Indicator (April 2002 issue) and Nightcap (spring 2002 issue). Or, feel free to contact us at [email protected].

    — Campus Greens at UCSD

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