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Did the UC Just Take a Major Step Toward Privatization?

"...UC will no longer be held accountable for its priorities in the use of any of its resources (public or private) — and especially for making it a priority to educate Californians."

Shortly after Gov. Jerry Brown presented his , which he says will slash $8.3 billion from government spending to close a $15.7 billion deficit, UC faculty delivered a bold response. 

The Council for UC Faculty Associations is an umbrella association that binds the faculty associations on each UC Campus. They posted the following on their website the day after Brown's announcement.

Some have suggested that the UC is headed down a road toward privatization. What do you think? 

UC President Mark Yudof and Governor Jerry Brown are working out a deal behind closed doors that will loosen the most important ties between the university and the state.

Although they will both praise the deal by saying that it “stabilizes” funding while granting greater “flexibility,” its essence is that each will let the other off the hook: UC will mute complaints that it does not get enough money from the state and the state will stop holding UC accountable for the money it still gets.

The likely result is that UC will dump a larger number of eligible Californians onto the CSU and Community Colleges, which will in turn pass on their overflow to for-profit schools, where students take on inordinate amounts of debt with a very high likelihood of default.

[Read what the CUCFA calls the "key elements" on their website].

Under Governor Schwarzenegger, UC got the state to agree that it should provide only as much public higher education for Californians as the state is willing to pay for. Under Governor Brown it will be free to provide even less than the state is willing to pay for. Unless this agreement is reversed, state funding for UC will continue to fall as UC separates itself from the rest of California’s Master Plan. We are reaching the point of no return.

Do you feel that the UC system is being privatized? Are Brown's proposals a step in that direction? Is the UC relaxing its mission to serve Californians, or not? Share your opinions in the comments below. 

Lisa Johnson May 17, 2012 at 02:22 PM
UC president Mark Yudof was hired to privatize the university. It was what he had done in Texas and the UC Regents knew what they were hiring him to do was the same thing in California. States are strapped for resources and the private sector is stepping in with no public accountability. If we refuse to raise taxes on those who can afford to pay more we will continue to be beholden to the wishes of the private sector. We are throwing away our democracy because we are too short sighted, greedy , and fearful to make hard decisions to collectively make our society functional again.
Milan Moravec May 17, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Cal. Birgeneau ($450,000 salary) likes to blame the politicians, since they stopped giving him every dollar expected. The Chancellor’s ‘charge more’ instate tuition skyrocketed fees by an average 14% per year from 2006 to 2011-12 academic year. If Birgeneau had allowed fees to rise at the same rate of inflation over the past 10 years they would still be in reach of most middle income students. Increasing funding is not Cal’s solution. As a public university UCB is to maximize access to the widest number of instate students at a reasonable cost with a mission of diversity and equality of opportunity. Birgeneau’s and Provost George Breslauer’s ($306,000 salary) ‘charge more’ instate tuition denies middle income Californians the transformative value of Cal’s education. A sad unacceptable legacy for daughters, sons of Californians. Opinion to: UC Board of Regents marsha.kelman@ucop.edu and Calif. State Senators and Assembly members.
Just Saying May 19, 2012 at 01:15 PM
I am bothered that news coverage of rising tuition costs and less accessibilty has focused solely on the UC system. With such low acceptance rates, a UC education is now only for top students, it is not the great equalizer that it once may have been. We are going through the college search process with our child right now and It is common knowledge that you need at least a 4.0 to get into UC Berkeley. The other UCs are also extremely selective and have become elite institutions even without privatization. The solution is not necessarily to dumb down the UCs, but to build up the CSU and Community College systems and give them the respect they deserve. It is demeaning to the majority of California's higher education students to say that they have been "dumped" into those systems. This is where most of our kids will be going and I'm sure that those systems are hurting also from budget cuts.
Justin Cox (Editor) May 19, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Good point. I myself went to CSU Monterey Bay for undergrad. I think it's easy to get swept up in all of the UC stuff here in Davis, because that's what we have in town. But we have a high school filled with many kids who will eventually want to go to college... so yeah, it is worth looking beyond the UC.
nb June 14, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Cities should look forward to UC paying their property taxes now. And cities where the University of California has campuses should sue for a percentage of back property taxes due to the increased rates of privatization. They profited without paying their fair share.

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