California State University faculty will echo the Occupy movement Tuesday and Wednesday as professors and lecturers picket on campus - for a couple of hours, anyway - to vent frustration with the "1 percent" running the university.
On CSU campuses across California, the pickets herald a systemwide strike that faculty leaders hope to stage Nov. 17 to protest Chancellor Charles Reed's decision to cancel scheduled raises, the sticking point in collapsed labor negotiations.
"Students and faculty feel the same way about Chancellor Reed as the Occupy Wall Street protesters feel about decisions that benefit 1 percent of the population," said Lillian Taiz, president of the California Faculty Association. "The chancellor is doing exactly the same to our CSU by hiking student fees, cutting classes and not paying the faculty raises that he agreed to. It is wrong, and we will hold him accountable."
The news has indeed been grim during California's budget crisis. Tuition is 23 percent higher than a year ago. CSU has reduced enrollment by 10,000 students. And more than 4,000 employees - nearly 9 percent of the workforce - have been laid off or not replaced since 2008.