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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: February ::
French Universities Need Help!!
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0060  Wednesday, 18 February 2009

From:      Sarah HATCHUEL <
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Date:      Friday, February 06, 2009, 00:28:00
Subject:   French Universities Need Help!!

Dear Shakespearean friends from all over the world,

Could you please tell all your colleagues in your country (and beyond) 
what's happening here in France??

Click on the link to reach the petition: http://math.univ-lyon1.fr/appel

WE NEED HELP, QUICKLY!!

Love and thanks,
Sarah Hatchuel and Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin


French universities are on a permanent strike.

The French system of universities is public, with teachings and research 
of high quality. It has always enjoyed independence, liberty, and 
recognition. But, within the past few months, the government has 
decided, brutally and without any concertation, to end this system and 
replace it by some sort of marketplace model of research where arbitrary 
decisions and instability prevail.

- The previous statute of the academics has ended and their teaching 
duties are now decided on face value.
- Permanent positions are being cut dramatically and being replaced by 
temporary, insecure and dependent positions.
- PhD students can now be fired without any justification during the 
first six months of their PhD, and are now made available to private 
industries without any recognition of their rights.
- The training of teachers is in distress.
- Universities are autonomous (but in fact, they compete with each other 
under a reinforced government control) and without sufficient funding, 
they will soon have to put in place tuition fees and put themselves 
under the influence of local funding sources
- The CNRS is suppressed and changed into a funding agency managed by 
technocrats
- Academic researches are evaluated by inadequate and inept 
"quantitative means" rejected by all scholar societies

We, academics and researches from all around the world, assert that 
these decisions are bureaucratic, financially motivated and dangerous. 
Similar decisions were or are imposed in other institutions of many 
countries. As such, we support the French academics in their fight. If, 
the education and the research of the country of the Encyclopedie, of 
Voltaire and Rousseau, and of the Declaration of Human Rights, are now 
reduced to market laws and under the influence of the political powers, 
then it is the freedom of the whole world that is under threat.

The powers that are imposing this new deal are organizing themselves. To 
defend our common values, we need to organize ourselves better and in 
greater number. Therefore, we call for all academics of all political 
sides, of all beliefs and of all creeds to join to oppose these changes 
that no humanist scientists of any time ever supported.

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Hardy M. Cook, 
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