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University of California to Launch $0 Tuition Program, Says Spoofed Press Release

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Photo by sryffel via Flickr


Photo by sryffel via Flickr
A press release from the University of California today announced a new revolutionary program wherein tuition will be free. Pretty cool, right? Too bad it's a fake press release from a fake website mocking University President Mark G. Yudof and the Regents. Here's a fun little sample:

We, The Regents and UCOP, will no longer be the zombies of global capitalism-always-in-crisis-for-our -benefit. Instead we will seek to create an educational and research vision for a UC that will offer free access for all those who wish to have higher education in our communities, for those who dream of new technologies for the people, for all of those who want to build a world that establishes global education for all, global health care for all, global rights for labor, and push our selves to follow the speed of dreams and not the greed of the latest ponzi scheme.

And how!

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Officials at the real University of California could not be immediately reached for comment. It appears the fake website is coming from art students at UC San Diego. A masked domain leads to b.a.n.g. lab, which carries the only mention of $0 tuition on Twitter.

[Update: Searching deeper, looks like there is an event tonight at UCSD called "$0 Tuition - Reimagining the University of California." It's a panel discussion and open forum on the UC Budget Cuts.]

The full fake press release can be found below. A fake website has also been set up and to compare, here is a link to the real website. Funny enough, part of the fake website is hosted on UC servers.

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

BERKELEY • DAVIS • IRVINE • LOS ANGELES • MERCED • RIVERSIDE • SAN DIEGO •
SAN FRANCISCO • SANTA BARBARA • SANTA CRUZ

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1111 Franklin Street
Oakland, CA 94607-5200
Phone: (510) 987-9074
Fax: (510) 987-9086
http://ucop.cc/

November 2, 2009
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY

Dear Colleagues:

I write to update you on The Regents’ actions this week concerning the
unprecedented acceptance of the UCOP’s $0 Tuition Program to be initiated
November 2, 2009. ( http://ucop.cc/ )

At their meeting on October 30th, 2009, The Regents declared that there
was an extreme financial emergency, a shortfall of over $1 billion during
the 2009-2010 academic year alone. Their leadership, over the last fifteen
years, especially after 2004, created this emergency scenario. Seeking
the complete privatization of the UC system, they advocated for a
debt-financed rather than taxpayer-financed institution, which was bond
rating, rather than education, driven. The Regents continue to make shock
and awe decisions without student and faculty input, maintaining that it
is not useful for UC to continue as a public education project for the
people of California. They explain this and their prior actions with the
acknowledgment that they, “feel badly about the whole thing.”

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While The Regents and UCOP took the time last week to finally read what UC
students, faculty and all ten Chancellors actually wrote and said, one of
The Regents opined during a party after the September 1, 2009 confirmation
of the OHH (Operation Hard Hammer) had passed, “Who can hear anything the
faculty and students say with so much champagne popping?” - but as I have
reported to you, they feel bad about the whole scam, me too, I really do
not like UC people wearing T-Shirts saying ‘I’ve been Yudoffed!’ - so The
Regents and UCOP are going to establish $0 Tuition Program by using all
the funds we put aside for raining days under my desk and the funds we
have with our friends over at Bank of NY Mellon Trust, we will stop all
our financial and real estate speculation, and instead focus on developing
a free education model and an open research matrix for the social benefit
of people of California. 


We, The Regents and UCOP, will no longer be the zombies of global
capitalism-always-in-crisis-
for-our -benefit. Instead we will seek to
create an educational and research vision for a UC that will offer free
access for all those who wish to have higher education in our communities,
for those who dream of new technologies for the people, for all of those
who want to build a world that establishes global education for all,
global health care for all, global rights for labor, and push our selves
to follow the speed of dreams and not the greed of the latest ponzi
scheme.

We encourage all of you to adopt the $0 Tuition Program as we have, help
us develop it, with your friends, with your teachers, with your fellow
researchers, with your families and neighbors, and with all those on the
other side of the border a new type of UC. Let us start to re-imagine what
a university might be, rather than what it is or it cannot be.

I deeply appreciate your continuing commitment to UC. Let us all work
together to make UC something greater than itself.

With best wishes, I am,

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Sincerely yours,

Mark G. Yudof
President
http://ucop.cc/

We want your feedback! To share you thoughts with the University of California Commission on the Future, go to:
http://ucfuture.universityofcalifornia.edu/feedback.html