Davis Faculty Association

Governors letter to Regents chair

by Ian Kennedy

The following message came to the Council of UC Faculty Associations from Stan Glantz, VP for CUCFA. It reports communications between Schwarzenegger and Regents Chair Blum, with Stan’s fulsome commentary.

Begin forwarded message:

From: “Glantz, Stanton A” <glantz@medicine.ucsf.edu>
Date: April 23, 2008 8:59:22 AM PDT
Subj: Blum sells out UC in a deal with the Gov — please broadly circulate

The attached letter [PDF], which memorializes a meeting between Gov.   Schwarzenegger and Regents’ Chair Blum, explains why, unlike CSU and the CC’s — UC is continuing to admit more and more students without the money it needs to educate them.  Blum seems to be more  interested in meeting the political needs of the governor than maintaining the quality and financial solvency of the institution whose board he chairs.

While I support Blum’s goal of de-bloating UCOP and increasing  efficiency, the fact is that there simply isn’t enough money being  wasted to make up for the billion and a half dollars Dynes gave away  in the Compact, much less the current half billion in the new cuts.   As the Senate “Futures” report clearly demonstrated, the only real  source of private money to fill the gap that the Governor created in  the Compact would be massive fee increases.  (This is completely  consistent with the Compact’s goal of privatizing UC.)  As the new  Senate “Cuts” report shows, the current round of cuts will put UC on  the full privatization pathway (scenario 4 in the Futures report).

But neither the Administration nor the Regents is willing to publicly  state this simple reality: The only way to maintain even the current  (greatly compromised) quality of UC in the face of the Gov’s budget  is to immediately raise undergrad fees to $10,500 on the way to  $15-18,000 over the next couple years … or start substantially  reducing enrollment low enough to be able to offer students a decent  education with the reduced resources that the Gov provides.

Rather, there will be more unspecified cuts pushed down on the  campuses (read students), meaning fewer classes, even fewer essays  read, fewer problem sets graded, less advising, fewer research  opportunities.  The job of fully privatizing the professional  schools — now well under way — will be completed.  Meanwhile, the  (much smaller, better endowed) privates are cutting fees for the top  students, meaning that UC will continue to lose them, contributing to  the decline in quality.  (It is the high quality students, after  all, which have always attracted and held the high quality faculty  despite the crappy pay.)

The faculty leadership need to start speaking out loudly and  publicly on this, not just passively putting reports on the web  where people like me can find them.  Contrast the Senate’s willingness to hand Blum a huge public defeat on tobacco money inside UC — where Blum was clearly right —  with its unwillingness to challenge him and the Governor on these much more fundamental issues.

I continue to believe that neither the public nor the Legislature  nor … it becomes enough of a public issue … the Governor will  find turning the University of California into a second tier  institution acceptable.  The Regents and Administration need to  start being honest about their fiduciary responsibilities to the  institution they head.

This entry was posted on Friday, April 25th, 2008 at 11:08 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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