Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans’ Day and some UC/UCLA History UCOP might not want raised

ROTC at UCLA's old Vermont Avenue campus: 1928

Note that UCLA is closed tomorrow although Veterans’ Day is today.  There is a bit of history here.  UC did not always close on Veterans’ Day.  When Gray Davis was governor, however, someone complained about UC being open.  The governor couldn’t order UC to close but the powers-that-be went along with his request to do so.   

As yours truly recalls it, the Faculty Welfare committee at UCLA - and possibly others in the Academic Senate - noted that with a ten-week fall quarter, cutting a day out of the term would reduce instructional time in a twice-a-week course by 5% and a once a week course by 10% if Veterans’ Day fell on a class day.  (Actually, the loss is more than that because typically some class time is used for exams, not instruction.)  Courses would have to be revised to have less content or an irregular day would have to be scheduled for a make-up session (which some students could not attend due to schedule conflicts and for which a room might not be available).  It was suggested that the powers-that-be consider giving non-instructional staff a day off but not reducing class time.  That is, faculty wanted to teach.  A “day off” for faculty is meaningless and bad for students. Alternatively, the powers-that-be could have done what they eventually did later about Chavez day and schedule the university’s celebration of it on a non-instructional day. 

Needless to say, the faculty’s suggestion was not heeded.  Now, even when Veterans’ Day falls a non-instructional day as it does today (Sunday), UCLA is closed for instruction on Monday – an instructional day.  Go figure.  And by the way, yours truly checked the academic calendar for USC at  No closure there tomorrow.  Tried CalTech, too, at No closure there tomorrow, either. I suppose one interpretation could be that the folks at those institutions are not as patriotic as the folks at UCLA.  But there might be other interpretations.

Undoubtedly, UCOP might well think it is politically savvy to have an extra holiday at the request of a former governor.  But how politically savvy is it to have a "day off" from instruction at UC when the same day off is not common in the private sector where most voters are employed?

Be that history as it may, we provide a musical selection below for Veterans’ Day - which was originally Armistice Day celebrating the end of World War I:

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