Berkeley Campus Petition to endorse Principles of a Public University and to support Robert Reich as Candidate for the next Chancellor

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Given the new political situation, now, more than ever, it is imperative that the Berkeley campus partake in choosing a chancellor who will lead in an inclusive way, defending all its members, especially the more vulnerable, against threats from outside. Yet, as a community of faculty, lecturers, students and staff, we have a very limited say in the selection process. There is an Advisory Committee to President Napolitano, but it operates in secret and does not disclose which candidates, even the finalists, it is considering - candidates whom, in any case, the President may consider only on an advisory basis. Now is the time to mount a campaign based on principles of an inclusive public university and a candidate who will support those principles. That candidate is Robert Reich who has said neither yes nor no, as he has not been asked officially. Please endorse the "10 Reasons to Support Robert Reich for Chancellor" by signing this petition.


  • Berkeley Faculty Association
  • Berkeley Unit of the Graduate Student Union, UAW 2865
  • Berkeley chapter of the University Professional and Technical Employees, UPTE-CWA 9119
  • Berkeley Unit of the American Federation of Teachers, UC-AFT 1474.


The process for selecting the next Chancellor is being conducted in secret with the candidates unknown. We propose to open the selection process by promoting our own candidate, Robert Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy, for the following reasons:

  1. Robert Reich has a long history of supporting the university as a public good, recognizing it as an investment that benefits society as a whole.
  2. Robert Reich knows that debt-free and equal access to the public university will only be realized when higher education is funded publicly instead of relying on growing costs borne by students or contributions from private corporations.
  3. Robert Reich has addressed inequalities in the funding of higher education, exposing the lavish tax write-offs for donors that give private universities greater government support than public institutions.
  4. Robert Reich has vast experience as an administrator having served under Presidents Ford and Carter and then as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration.
  5. Robert Reich has a wealth of connections that will enable him to promote the interests of Berkeley at the federal and state levels.
  6. Robert Reich is a prominent scholar, a graduate of Yale Law School, and the author of widely-read books on US society and economy, such as The Work of Nations, Reason, Supercapitalism, Aftershock, and most recently, Saving Capitalism. He was the inspiration behind and played a central role in the film Inequality for All.
  7. Robert Reich was a dedicated and effective teacher at Harvard and Brandeis before coming to Berkeley where, for the last decade, his classes have been overflowing with students, who come away not only better informed but also inspired.
  8. Robert Reich has said that the survival of the public university as a place of excellence will depend not only on public investment but also on greater equity and efficiency within the university, including better pay and employment security for lecturers, tackling administrative bloat and ending outsourced labor.
  9. Robert Reich has demonstrated his commitment to social justice with his support for the Occupy Movement, campaigns for decent working conditions for low paid workers, and resolute opposition to all forms of bigotry.
  10. Robert Reich has always demonstrated unquestioned integrity as a public figure, political campaigner, beloved teacher and outstanding academic.

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