One result from yesterday is three statements by the Astronomy Department's Faculty, Postdocs, and Graduate Students. They are in the Equity & Inclusion FB group too, but if you cannot access that, you can find them in this Dropbox link (meant to be shared): https://www.dropbox.com/sh/onqhazd6nryy ... EeWha?dl=0
Thanks for sharing these responses, and thanks to Dr. Guillochon for starting this thread. As someone applying to programs this cycle, the fact that two issues –- with two different UC Berkeley departments -- symptomatic of similar problems have surfaced this week alone
is rather disconcerting. (The other one of which I'm speaking concerns the math department and their dealings with one of their lecturers, who explains the situation on his own website here: http://alexandercoward.com/BlowingTheWhistleOnUCBerkeleyMathematics.html
Admittedly, at first I was lukewarm to the idea of boycotting UCB's graduate program. "This fiasco concerns the Astro department, but I'm applying to HEP-th, so probably 1) I would be unaffected and 2) they wouldn't put it together that I was shying away because of this," I originally thought. But something in the graduate student response resonated with me, because it was something that these two issues made me question: are these isolated incidents, or demonstrable evidence that Berkeley doesn't care about their students?
From the grad student's statement:
"This incident, and its handling by the relevant authorities, are symptoms of problematic attitudes ingrained in UC Berkeley as a whole... The University’s failure to impose meaningful consequences... suggests that Berkeley’s administration values prestige and grant money over the well being of the young scientists it is charged with training."Bingo.
I think that any applicant, whether or not they would boycott on principle alone, should seriously consider whether Berkeley is a good place for them, given these recent developments and the strong alternatives that exist within the UC system (UCSB, UCLA, etc.) and California (Stanford, Caltech, etc.).