State budget woes affecting UC Berkeley

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: State budget woes affecting UC Berkeley
By Patient (Patient) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 11:40 am: Edit

From this morning's San Francisco Chronicle:

By Archermom (Archermom) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 12:20 pm: Edit

As an employee of UCLA for almost 27 yrs (and counting!) this does not surprise me. I believe there was another thread earlier this summer regarding the UCs where I mentioned this was forthcoming. When the budget controversy was in its heighth, we heard that many families decided to look elsewhere--and out of state--for college. It is truly unfortunate...and we are not optimistic about the future. It will take many yrs to recover.

By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 12:35 pm: Edit

Archermom, could it be in the near future that we will see the California legislature lift the ceiling on tuition as we have seen it done in my state of Texas and home state of Oklahoma?

My friends daughter attended UCLA her freshman year. She has transferred to UC-Davis to be closer to home. She also wanted to be on a campus where more students stayed at school on the weekends. She had nothing but praise for UCLA. She loved the campus and professors and in every way thought the academics were first rate. I think her 3.5 GPA reflects her enthusiasm for the academics.

I hope that the state can work out the funding for the Cal schools. California and its students have so much at stake.

By Barrons (Barrons) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 01:21 pm: Edit

Many similar state schools have absorbed larger cuts without a significant change in operations. UC can handle the minimal cuts it has to make with a bit of creativity and pruning of nice but not necessary programs.

By Archermom (Archermom) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 04:46 pm: Edit

Alongfortheride, many administrators feel that the current UC budget situation did not just happen overnight. The UCs have always prided itself in providing quality education at a very affordable price...keeping the price tag static for many yrs...when the cost of higher education has accentuated many times over. And, although the tuition has risen the last couple of yrs, it is still a basement bargain! However, I do believe that if state funding does not return to its previous level, the UCs will have to keep tight reign on enrollment and REALLY have to cut back in a drastic way. It is very discouraging...and, believe me, it's a whole lot worse from the "inside."

By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 06:58 pm: Edit

Archermom, there's no doubt that the UC's provide a great education for an affordable price. The scenario you have painted sounds to this outsider like a certainty. Selectivity will certainly increase (like it's not already select enough) and exceptional students will most likely find themselves looking out of state for back-ups. We have that here in Texas, but because of the 10% rule. The sad thing is that the exodus of students only accentuates the problem as their tuition money goes to the surrounding states, creating a further drain on university resources. Seems so simple to me, but politics always seem to get in the way.

By Archermom (Archermom) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 07:51 pm: Edit

Right now, the largest increase has hit the non-resident tuitions...especially for international students. This is to adhere to UC philosophy of educating CA students first and foremost. Most people I have talked to feel that it will hurt us in the long is a bandaid at best. Over 90% of UCLA's undergrad population are CA residents...what will it be like 2 yrs from now?

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 08:02 pm: Edit

We in CA are continuing to compound our grave mistakes at every level of education. A generation of kids (maybe more) and the State will pay a big price. The irony is that UCs are getting more competitive to enter, but the average SAT scores at the UCs are not at the level of highly selective colleges. We've taught these kids little even before college.

By Barrons (Barrons) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 10:29 pm: Edit

The average SATs are lower because the UC chose not to emphasize the SAT as much.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 11:13 pm: Edit

The SAT scores correlate with high CA public high school GPAs.

By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 11:20 pm: Edit

My brother, who got his PhD and taught in the Cal State system, believes that the budget cuts are long overdue.

His belief is that the state has been trying to educate too many people in the very high quality and very expensive 4-year colleges, while an excellent, more cost effective, and more appropriate for many students community college system goes underutilized.

By Archermom (Archermom) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 11:29 pm: Edit

Only now, the community colleges have also taken a hard hit. We are getting hit at both ends. It is not a good situation in CA.

By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 12:12 am: Edit

I think economists would point to the the current UC problems as being related to a "hidden cost" suddenly becoming not so hidden.

In most parts of the United States, the public universities are the lower cost/lower quality education option. The private colleges are the higher cost/higher quality option.

In California, the situation has historically been reversed, with the public system being regarded as the high quality option. Alas, it has also been the high cost option, but the true cost has been hidden as a taxpaper subsidy.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 12:20 am: Edit

Our community college system is totally over loaded. A combination of budget problems at the 4 year State schools and the tech bust which has sent people back to school. I agree that the true cost has long been hidden. The UCs were too good of a deal for a long time. On local news tonight, students in the CA State system were outraged by the cost going up to $1400 per semester. Still a relative bargain to most.

By Archermom (Archermom) on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 12:23 am: Edit

Interesteddad, I absolutely agree. We have been spoiled in CA. Families need to shoulder more of the burden...which is still a bargain deal when compared to comparable state university systems.

By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 12:49 am: Edit

BTW, I think inherent in my brother's argument is that we (as a nation) are sending kids to college who really aren't college material. The result is squandering resources on a misguided effort when the resources should probably be better spent on more cost-effective vocational training.

He has discussed this issue as it relates to two of the largest state university systems where he has taught and the number of students who simply have no business being in a 4-year college. He can't figure out what they are doing there. The students can't figure out what they are doing there. They can't be flunked out (as a matter of general policy). Yet, the taxpayers are picking up a tab of thousands a year for each one.

On a tangentially related note: There is no reason at all that UC Berkeley has to have the world's largest library to provide an excellent education. That kind of spending is just ego, pure and simple. If you want the world's largest libraries, then pony up the $40,000 a year for the Mercedes education. Want a $20,000 a year price tag? Then, you've got to give up the leather reclining seats and the burled walnut dashboard trim. but, nobody faces those choices as long as the costs are hidden.

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