Friday, March 26, 2010

Adobe Flash is not where it's at

Joe Brockmeier of Linux magazine wrote a good story on the future, or potential lack of it, for Adobe Flash. According to Brockmeier, development of HTML5 has the potential to largely supplant Flash on the Internet. Brockmeier wrote:

By 2012, you might want to have a Flash plugin handy to view legacy content that’s still lying around. But, by then, Flash will be well on its way to being an anecdote about the bad old days when too much of the Web was bound up in proprietary and non-standard technologies. [Read More]

Moral of the story, don't base your plans for embracing "new media" on concentrating on Flash. By the time you graduate Adobe Flash may be considered largely out of date.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Layoffs coming to SJSU

This morning in an e-mail to all SJSU employees President Whitmore said:

As we approach the end of the fiscal year, I want to update you on where we are today with the budget and what our immediate future looks like.

In fiscal year 2010-2011, we expect to face the same difficult circumstances that have proven so challenging over the last year. As we have been discussing throughout the year, we had to close a $44 million budget gap in FY 2009-2010. By making budget reductions across all areas of the university, including eliminating many vacant positions, reducing operating budgets, implementing employee furloughs, and raising student fees, we have largely (although not entirely) avoided layoffs of employees up to this point.

This year, we absorbed $19 million of our budget reduction through furloughs. However, we have recognized from the beginning that employees on furlough would not be a permanent solution to our situation. The unpleasant fact is that we must adjust our operations permanently, reducing both our student body and our staffing to fit our shrinking resources.

As I first mentioned in my fall 2009 address, layoffs are a part of our planning for next fiscal year. And while the overall number of layoffs is expected to be limited, we all will most certainly feel the impact. On a practical level, having fewer employees to share the campus workload will present real challenges.

Emotionally, having to see colleagues depart will be difficult for each and every one of us. Logistically, the impacts of layoffs will require flexibility, cooperation, and patience, as staff resources are redistributed according to the provisions of the respective union contracts. And most important, of course, is the difficulty ahead for individuals who will be directly impacted by the layoffs.

The decisions about positions this action will affect and when any action will take place have not been finalized. Once a plan has been developed, it must be approved by the Chancellor’s Office and then reviewed by our union groups. I am sharing this information with you now because I am committed to being as open and transparent about the situation as possible – and I promise to continue to update you as new information becomes available.

In the meantime, I want to reiterate my thanks and appreciation for the passion, commitment, and patience with which you do your work in these challenging times.

Jon Whitmore, President

In short, we have been given notice that layoffs are coming.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

SJSU Students, Faculty and Staff Protest Education Cuts

Click picture to enlarge photo.

Mitchell Colbert, an SJSU senior political science major and active member of Students for Quality Education, burns his transcripts on March 4, 2010 in symbolic protest against the state's budget cuts on education.

[More Photos]

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Secret Plans, Umm Why?


Today I was told there is are written plans regarding SJSU's technology initiatives, but they are not being made public. Umm, why?

I don't buy it. We are not a private company. We work for the citizens of the State of California. We are paid by the public. There are no reasons for such secrets. We have no competitors who stand to gain. We have no trade secrets.

When you are a public entity there are laws requiring openness. The concept of government openness is why there are laws like the Brown Act, the Freedom of Information Act and the Whistle Blower Protection Act. I think that transparency is not just a legal mandate. In my opinion there is an ethical obligation of openness that extends further than the laws do for government institutions, most especially for state educational institutions.

I don't believe there are secret plans; because if there were, the next question would be; umm why?

Rain at SJSU

Tree Reflections

I love the way on a rainy day, looking down is looking up.