Wednesday, June 29, 2011

UC Budget Woes

The new California budget call for $650 million in cuts to the UC systems -- I understand $500 million had already been planned, they added $150 million on top of that, and may add more later if the revenue numbers don't pan out.

I'll admit that as a long-time CA resident (that's where I grew up), and a UC Berkeley alum (for grad school), it pains me to hear this.  I'm very sympathetic to statements such as this one quoted in this San Francisco Chronicle piece:

"Some students don't even call the increases "tuition" anymore, but tax increases. They say state lawmakers are deceptive in claiming to have passed the budget without raising taxes."

I grew up in a California where we really believed we were a shining vanguard for the rest of the nation -- and the UC system was a very big part of that.  By the time I left California I, at least, didn't have that feeling about the state any more.  And these cuts, of course, are painful to hear.

I don't mean to make it sound like the UCs are dead -- they have too many brilliant faculty to count, and will continue to attract many top students.  But it seems to me they are being weakened, perhaps (and I hope not) even crippled longer term.  I hope that this is just a historical blip, and California's greatness -- including vibrant, powerful, and more healthy UC and CSU systems -- will be on full display the rest of the century.


Michael Goodrich (who I've had the pleasure of working with lately) has suggested that all this points to (high) double-digit percentage increases in UC tuition coming up.  He pointed me to several news bits from the UC news site on the cuts generally and tuition specifically, including this, this, and this, and pointed me to the UC Regents site, where you can find things like the minutes to their meetings


Anonymous said...

Does Berkeley recruit fewer grad students in recent years?

Anonymous said...

No, we have not reduced the number of grad students we recruit. The reason is that our grad students are supported by grants and other research funds, not by state dollars. Our research funding is doing fine (if anything, it is up in the past few years). The UC funding crisis has, so far, primarily affected undergraduates and undergraduate teaching. Thanks to the fact that our research funding is as strong as ever, the state budget crisis has not affected our PhD program or our grad students.

It's a lousy situation for the state and for our undergraduate students, to be sure -- but not one that should scare grad students away from Berkeley.

-- A Berkeley prof

Unknown said...

17,000 people paid a salary at University of California earn more than $100.000.

Deeds - wage concessions - not whinning will save UC positions.

Anonymous said...

Berkeley and other UC schools should reduce the number of grad students they recruit. There are, after all, fewer research positions for graduating students.

Anonymous said...

The business school has tons of staff who telecommute to take care of young children and do side contracting on the government salary defrauding us all. Yeah, the budget problems stink, and tuition increases are killing us. Before they raise them again, they need cut the fat. I don't sign my tuition checks to pay someone to watch their own children. How many people of color are allowed to telecommute with young kids at home? or is it just whites and asians? My parents worked pretty hard to give me a chance; they didn't do it at home.