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Top educators fight to preserve California's 50-year master plan for higher education


The leaders of California’s three public college and university systems made a rare joint appearance at a legislative hearing to urge that the state restore enough funding to maintain the nearly 50-year-old master plan for higher education.

This year’s cuts in education spending are causing so much overcrowding and enrollment limits that the master plan’s goals of a low-cost, accessible college education for all qualified students is in jeopardy, they said.

University of California President Mark G. Yudof, Cal State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed and California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott testified in Sacramento on Monday, appearing before a joint Assembly-Senate committee that is reviewing the master plan.

That 1960 plan set up different functions, admission guidelines and priorities for the three systems as a framework to produce a well-educated workforce in California. 

Scott, in an interview, noted that 95% of community college classes across the state are filled to capacity and that many students are on waiting lists. “The way the state is going, we are almost denying the master plan,” he said.

-- Larry Gordon

Photo: Students march last month in front of UCLA's Covel Commons, where UC regents voted on a fee increase. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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Raises for bureaucrats? Are you kidding me?

Comments () | Archives (20)


It will take that long for the current crop to graduate....



What a UC education gets you apparently if you don't invest.

Aside from our weather, California's greatest asset is/was our public colleges, especially our UC system. Many of our businesses owe their existences to our UC schools, their students, alumni, facilities, reputations and professors. Let's not let them become second class.

Here's a thought....

...higher education is not a right, it's a privledge.

This state simply cannot afford higher education for all any longer.

Dr. J: Your comment is exactly why we need to fund higher education for all qualified students. If you went to college you would know how to spell "privilege," instead of priviledge. Or maybe you didn't graduate from high school either. Is high school also a "priviledge?"

Get rid of the illegal alien students clogging up the seats and there will be plenty of room for the citizen students.

Doctor J - Privilege is how it is spelled.

The irony that you would misspell such a simple word in a post about education is delicious.

This governor has done more harm to California's education system than anyone in 100 years! My daughter is a junior in the CSU system and she'll have to spend at least another entire year in school (incurring more debt) because the seniors immediately filled up all the available classes she needed for her major. Because there are no "filler" classes that fit into her schedule, she'll have to take a cut in her financial aid. She's lucky she has her family and some savings to draw upon, but I don't know how other students will manage.

The students in Teheran are rioting - why aren't the students in the CSU system doing the same thing? When I was a girl and we took over an administration building things changed!


Julia, riots ?? please !!
Your daughter already is getting a break getting financial aid, take responsibility for her education !!
If I want to eat at a restaurant and there is no space I have to wait or go somewhere else, If I want to go to a game and there are no tickets I do not go, If I want to go to NY and there is no space in the flights for today I go tomorrow. So, if everyone has to wait/compromise why is your daughter so special ??
What about you pay for your daughter's education and I pay for my son's education, what is wrong with that ??
No more taxes !!

We reap what we sow.
Don't you love trite cliches.
Sometimes, they're true.

In America, the gap between haves and have nots is widening.
And the ability of those on top to grasp ever more of the pie is increasing.
There is nothing effective being done to spread the wealth.
Yet, here, there seems to be surprise that an accessible, affordable higher education system is becoming a casualty of America's venal nature.
Well, why should it be any different than social assistance, or health care?
This is a mean spirited, callous country in many ways, and becoming more so every day.
It is a consequence of technology that full employment is a thing of the past, but the sort of social contract that would allow for everyone to share in some way in the fat of the land is just an illusion in America. No job sharing here, as is seen in some other places like the Netherlands.
So, the fight to preserve the University system in the face of social decay in virtually every other sector seems out of place.
Either work toward a just society, or embrace the current "I've got mind Jack, screw you!" ethos that truly defines our country.
Time to choose which side you're on.

Stop admitting illegal aliens and their children. That would help out.

Some of the comments here show the promising future Californians have if they continue to gut higher-education.

One guy (Carlos) drew an analogy between dining out and getting a college education. What do you say to such ignorance? You can try to show that obtaining a college education pays dividends in a way that eating a steak does not. Or you can introduce Carlos to Doctor J, where they will be part of the new "priviledged" class of morons.

Community colleges are already so ridiculously underpriced, students pay next to nothing. You can be dirt poor and still afford to pay more for CC classes, but nooooo. Every time this subject has come up in the past, everyone grasps their chests and shouts to the sky a la Fred Sanford. State schools, same thing. You don't have to be anything *close* to privileged to afford state university schools, but for some reason charging more is some burden that nobody can afford. Really? REALLY? No. These are adults, they need to pay for their own schooling, they can afford more, and the fact that efforts to raise tuition previously have fallen on deaf ears, well, that's why this generation will suffer.

Further, what about the insanely *privileged* lives of university professors? Years off to write? Can the UC system afford to give a professor a year off to write about fruit fly breeding in the Apalachias, or some similarly obscure and useless topic right now? NO. And according to education elites and probably most people on this board, this tenured time off is a sacred cow. Fine. Again, making the current status not unexpected. Only the taxpayer should shoulder this burden. Not students, not university professors, not the other fat university paychecks and employees (read: administrators). Just us hardworking small business owners and middle class who already give way too much at the office. I work FOR FREE until May. Yes, all you people wake up. You get up and go to work day after day after day for no pay until May, if you are a typical taxpayer (and not one of the 47% of people who pay no federal or state taxes). You are slaving away for everyone but your family for over 4 months of the year.

Until others, like pompous university professors, are willing to step up and take the hits right now, then dang it, neither am I.

I hope you know that MIT (Yes, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology) has all of their classes online.
You probably know the "brick and mortar" colleges and universities are fighting internet education tooth and nail.

I'll say one last thing. The students that go to MIT and use their online education are really, really, smart. The courses are hard!

A viewpoint from the sciences. I employ around 15 people at UCLA and bring in around 8X my annual salary from the state, in federal research grants. These are people who would patronize regular small (and large) businesses in CA. In fact we are essentially running small businesses ourselves - schlepping around DC pitching ideas to the feds, writing countless proposals - typically on weekends and evenings, and many of us have not had sabbatical in years. Trying to make sure these is enough cash flow coming in not to end up firing people and to keep the research productivity. And yes UC needs to compete internationally because this is how the system works. So while my leaving CA would save UC around 200K a year in my salary and fringe benefits, it would lose around 1.5M a year in research grants from the federal govt, because the granting agencies view the funds as tied to my research program rather than to UCLA - they would transfer them to whatever institution I moved to. Now multiply this by all the top faculty in the UC who bring in federal funding - which at some campuses is significantly more than the state portion of the funding, and you have a serious economic problem if you let the UC decline into quality. At the National Science Foundation, for example, only the top 10-20% of scientists are getting research grants - the remaining 80-90% of proposals are rejected. So the minute UC stops competing for top faculty in sciences and engineering is the minute it will lose significant federal funding which means direct loss of jobs. And all of this is on top of the fact that we are training students to be the next generation of technical workers in industry in the state of CA. All that and the innovations that come out of this research - patents and tech transfer to businesses in the state.

Our economy began it's corrective contraction/collapse towards sustainability precisely because it was based on bullshit, slave wages, bad debt, and an artificial expansion that wasn't based in any sort of bio-system reality.

And the recession/depression won't stop until the numbers begin to equalize.

You simply CAN'T run a successful consumer-powered/tax-dependent economy/society when most of your population doesn't earn enough to power the economy or to replenish the tax base which it then needs to depend on (to the point of creating systemic bankruptcy) because too many people are unemployed, uninsured, and/or underearning.

I don't know what it's going to take for people to realize that we our outsourcing jobs to automation and slave havens in the 3rd world has left us vulnerable to exactly the sort of system imbalances we have now because there was no plan on how to retrain and transition all of those workers into new fields and new lives or how to compensate for their lack of income/spending.

Even with healthcare being the disaster that it is, too many people are living too long and can't afford to retire and our birthrate continues to be higher than it should be in a society where the aging population continues to baloon.

We should be having people develop their skills for the industries and labor demads that will rise out of this collapse.

We can't afford the level of poverty/unemployment/underearning that we have going on in this society either morally or economically.

We also can't afford the dismal state of education, healthcare, social services who's long-term socio-economic consequences are beginning to become clear.

Magic Tit Economics simply doesn't work.

It's got to come from SOMEWHERE.

We need to (reponsibly) boost wages and (responsibly) raise taxes while we reign-in aspects of our spending.

And reign in the reproduction rate and stop underwriting people who can't even afford one child but expect the rest of us to pay for all 5 of theirs.

Michele, I'm glad you know so much about what I should be able to afford. Maybe people who have parental support can easily pay for college, but those of us who pay for it on our own don't have it so easy.
(I understand the need to raise fees so I didn't come here to complain about that. I just can't stand ignorant statements).

Da Maverick, you must be a teacher and a bad one at it !!
At no moment I was saying do not get a college education, but if the conditions are that students have to wait one year more to graduate what is wrong with that ??, there is not enought money for all the kids but at the end they can end up with a degree that cost them next to nothing ...
If they do not like the almost free education they are receiving they can go and pay good money in a private university ...

When the UC and CS systems explain why their costs have tripled in a short time span, then I will consider giving them more money.

Untill then, send all the complaining students to the community colleges where they will get a good education for a fraction of the cost.


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