[Fri Aug 19 16:20:40 2022] index.cgi: CGI::param called in list context from /home/kevin/sites/csua.com/PRODUCTION/index.cgi line 78, this can lead to vulnerabilities. See the warning in "Fetching the value or values of a single named parameter" at /usr/share/perl5/CGI.pm line 415. Entry 53268 (Berkeley CSUA MOTD)
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 53268
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2022/08/19 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2009/8/12-9/1 [Politics/Domestic/California/Arnold, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:53268 Activity:moderate
8/12    Thanks for destroying the world's finest public University!
        http://tinyurl.com/kr92ob (The Economist)
        \_ Why not raise tuition? At private universities, students generate
           revenue. Students should not be seen as an expense. UC has
           been a tremendous bargain for most of its existence. It's time
           to raise tuition to match the perceived quality of the
           institution. Good privates are charging $50K/year. UC would be
           a bargain at 1/3 that amount. Stop trying to go back to the
           taxpayer well.
           \_ 35% of the undergrads at Berkeley are Pell Grant
              recipients (which means they're amongst the poorest in
              the country).  Berkeley leads all universities in that
              regard; UCLA has a similar number.  The purpose of a
              public university is to provide educational
              opportunities to the public, including those who do not
              have the money to attend a private institution.  There
              is a clear public benefit to giving access to higher
              education to this population, measurable in terms of
              reduced need for social services by the individual and
              his or her family, increased worker productivity,
              reduced incarceration rates, reduced population growth,
              etc.  All these things benefit the state.  California is
              the center for industry that it is in large part because
              of the historical success of the California public
              education system.  Turn it into Stanford-lite and you'll
              find the next boom happening in North Carolina, or Texas,
              or Michigan.  -tom
              \_ Interesting you mention these, because UC tuition and
                 fees are less than those for Texas and Michigan. UNC's fees
                 are cheaper. The education-for-all universities are CSUs.
                 With the existence of CSU there is no need to keep fees
                 at UC low. Further, Pell Grants are *federal* funds
                 and federal aid (likely loans) is likely to rise in response.
                 Chancellor Birgeneau:
                 "Ironically, it appears that the group that will be most
                 disadvantaged by our funding challenges are not those who
                 are truly low income people but rather the State's
                 middle-income families. Specifically, current federal,
                 state and university financial aid plans protect the
                 poor; however, the middle class - that is, those
                 whose family incomes fall in the $60,000 to $120,000
                 range - receive limited aid and the current
                 disinvestment in higher education by the State of
                 California will only exacerbate their plight."
                 In this instance, I am not overly concerned about the
                 plight of the middle class if fees rise. A family that
                 makes $90K per year, while not rich, will figure it out.
                 \_ UC is education for the top students in the state,
                    whether they come from rich, poor, or middle-class
                    backgrounds.  That's its mission, and it's been a
                    runaway success as an institution and as a benefit
                    to the state.  -tom
                    \_ You ignored two of my points:
                       1. Even the chancellor isn't too worried about your
                          Pell Grant recipients being able to attend UC.
                       2. There is good reason to believe the at-risk middle
                          class students will be able to afford an increase in
                          fees given increased federal aid.
                       So even with fee increases the best students will
                       still be able to attend UC. However, without the
                       fee increases then why would they want to? I want
                       to protect this institution, but if you want it to
                       fall to the level of CSU then keep hoping for
                       government handouts which aren't going to happen.
                       I prefer to be proactive and if a was a UC Regent
                       I'd raise the funds we needed outside of government
                       by partnering with industry, creating a larger
                       endowment in flush times (UC's is pathetically low),
                       and raising fees on students. Hoping taxes go up or
                       down leaves the issue to the whims of others.
                       \_ Guess what happens when UC raises more money
                          from industry, grants, and endowments: the
                          anti-govermnent ideologues use that as an excuse
                          to further cut state funding.  Endowment for UC, in
                          particular, is at best neutral and at worse negative
                          in terms of ongoing funding.  (Universities with
                          large endowments are also getting pummelled right
                          now.  Harvard had 9% of the combined endowment for
                          all US universities, and they just did 300
                          mandatory retirements and 270 layoffs).
                          The question is, how can you fund a great state
                          university?  The question isn't how to turn a
                          great state university into a private university.
                          We know how to do that, and it's a bad idea.  -tom
                          \_ Why is it a bad idea? I think UC should look
                             to the privates for an idea of how to run a
                             great university. Paying more attention to
                             your students, but charging them for the
                             privilege, is a great business model. I
                             reiterate that UC views its students like an
                             expense and they should view them like a
                             source of revenue. UC has a lot of students
                             who wish to attend - more than it has spots.
                             If it cannot survive in that environment it
                             has a problem. Believe me, the students won't
                             miss that extra $5K/year a decade after graduation
                             but they will appreciate what it gets them.
                             Don't you find it odd that the schools that
                             charge higher fees have more satisfied students
                             that donate more back to the school rather
                             than being angry at paying a higher tuition?
                             I know I had mediocre experiences at both UCB
                             and UCLA. I would've bitched a lot about fee
                             increases while in school, but now I realize it's
                             necessary and I'd pay a few $K more per year
                             for my kid to have a better education (or
                             even to preserve what we have). Otherwise,
                             send my kid to JC or CSU and save a lot of $$$
                             and just send my kid to UC for grad school.
                             \_ As I said, it's not like the privates are
                                any paragon of virtue; they're mostly in
                                financial straits just as dire as UC.  You
                                can assert that you don't believe in public
                                education; that's your opinion and you're
                                entitled to it.  But to suggest that,
                                essentially, California "should" give up
                                on public education, because of Harold Jarvis,
                                begs a whole lot of questions, the primary
                                one being, would California and its citizens
                                be better off if UC were privatized?  It
                                seems highly unlikely to me.  -tom
                                \_ Let's say for sake of argument that UC
                                   was privatized and tuition was the same
                                   as it is now. Would that be a problem?
                                   Is it the cost you have a problem with
                                   or with privatization? I never argued that
                                   UC should be privatized - only that fees
                                   need to be raised to help defray costs. I
                                   think this is true whether UC is public or
                                   private, because there isn't anywhere else
                                   to get money from. Howard Jarvis has nothing
                                   to do with it and has been a favorite
                                   target of the liberal community for
                                   some time now, but is mostly a red
                                   herring because California's tax
                                   revenues are about the same as they
                                   were pre-Prop 13. You'd better find
                                   another target to pick on, because Prop
                                   13 will *NEVER* be repealed. Ever.
                                   Property owners vote and there will be
                                   a revolution before Prop 13 is repealed,
                                   so better start working on Plan B,
                                   which is to increase income tax rates.
                                   \_ If UC were privatized, its fees would
                                      be like Stanford's.  -tom
                                      \_ Please answer the question:
                                         Are you opposed to privatization
                                         or to high fees? If it was public
                                         but expensive, would that be
                                         acceptable? What about private,
                                         but cheap?
                                         \_ You'll have to find someone else
                                            to beat that straw man for you.
                                            \_ I'm sorry, but privatization
                                               was *your* straw man. I
                                               never mentioned it.
                                   \_ The part of Prop 13 that applies to
                                      commercial owners will be modified or
                                      overturned in the next five years. You\
                                      can take that to the bank.
                                      \_ Possibly, but it's all the same pool
                                         of money. If commercial owners
                                         pay higher taxes they will sell
                                         properties and property values
                                         may fall, which results in less
                                         tax. Tenants will pay more for
                                         leases and will have to raise
                                         prices or close some businesses.
                                         This is what people don't
                                         realize. You can't abolish Prop 13
                                         and have 25% income tax and 10%
                                         sales tax and full employment and
                                         expect to keep as much business
                                         here as exists now. Something has
                                         got to give and it will find a
                                         new equilibrium at around the old
                                         one. There are no secrets here.
                                         Tax revenues are going to be
                                         about what they always have been.
                                         We need to live within that stream
                                         of revenue or grow it by growing
                                         the economy faster than inflation.
                                         \_ You like to use a lot of words
                                            without actually attempting to
                                            prove your point.  You're just
                                            reciting.  -tom
                                            \_ It is simple economics. You
                                               don't just raise taxes and
                                               expect the status quo to
                                               \_ And you don't just cut
                                                  services and expect the
                                                  status quo to continue.
                                                  California's success has
                                                  been much more a result
                                                  of investment in public
                                                  education than it has
                                                  been a result of ridiculous
                                                  ideas about low taxes.  -tom
                                                  \_ Depends on what the
                                                     services you cut are.
                                                     That's up for debate.
                                                     So don't cut education and
                                                     cut something else.
                                                     \_ The CA budget is
                                                        basically education,
                                                        health, and prison.
                                                        Only prison can be
                                                        reasonably cut. -tom
                                                        \_ They can *all*
                                                           be reasonably cut.
                                                           You just have
                                                           to decide where
                                                           and how.
                                   \_ Per capita real revenues are down since
                                      Prop 13 and have been trending down for
                                      a long time.
                                      \_ Down 16% but higher now than in 1981
                                         according to at least one study.
                                         However you want to frame it, they
                                         haven't changed drastically. Per
                                         capita revenue is down because we
                                         have a huge influx of people who
                                         don't contribute much to the
                                         economy but take more than their
                                         share from it.
                                         \_ Down 16% is huge. The entire higher
                                            education system is less than 16%
                                            of the overall state budget. First
                                            you claim that per capita is not
                                            down, then you admit that it is.
                                            Which one is it?
                                            \_ Down 16% AT THE MOMENT, but
                                               overall up since 1981. In
                                               flush years (like <DEAD>dot.com<DEAD>
                                               height) it was up. Right
                                               now, in one of the worst
                                               years in a long time, it is
                                               down. Overall, it's about
                                               the same, which is amazing
                                               when you consider the huge
                                               influx of low income and
                                               workers flooding into
                                               California over the last 3
                                               decade which drags down any
                                               per-capita figures.
           \_ I agree with you in general, but it isn't like fees haven't
              increased. They have increased dramatically since I was
              a student in the early 90s.  Has spending really outpaced
              it by so much?  I'd be interested to see a breakdown of
              where UC money has come from and gone to over the last 15 years
              or so.  (anyone know if/where this might be available?)
           \_ The UC used to be free, before Reagan decided to punish the UC
              for not supporting his policies. The question goes to the heart
              \_ If you can't blame Bush, blame Reagan...
                 \_ Facts are such bitter things.
                    \_ They sure are. The only reason CA is in its current
                       budget mess is because of Gray Davis and the Dem
                       majority state legislature has done jack squat for the
                       past two decades. Oh yeah, and the unions getting
                       Arnold's budget props defeated.
                       \_ In the last 25 years, the governor has been
                          Republican for all except 4 years.  Gray Davis
                          (from Stanford, by the way) wasn't a great
                          governor, but it is the ideological position of
                          Wilson, Schwarzenegger, and the Republicans in the
                          legislature which has whittled away at UC's funding.
                          The budget requires a 2/3rds majority to pass, which
                          is why the Republican minority can hold up the
                          process as long as they do.  -tom
                          \_ Maybe the Democrats should be more bi-partisan
                             in their thinking.
                             \_ That is pretty funny coming from a Republican.
                                \_ I'm not a Republican. However, consider
                                   The minority party doesn't have the
                                   votes to institute any major changes.
                                   All they can do, politically, is dig in.
                                   It is up to the party in power to reach
                                   out to the minority party to pick up
                                   the few votes it needs for a compromise.
                                   If the Democrats cannot appeal to *any*
                                   Republicans then they are taking the
                                   wrong stance and are just being stubborn.
                                   You can't blame the Republicans for
                                   anything, because they don't have
                                   enough votes to do anything even with
                                   fairly broad Democratic support.
                                   \_ "If you are not with us, then you are
                                      with the terrorists." Does that ring a
                                      bell with you at all? In CA, the GOP
                                      has been able to screw up state finances
                                      with a small minority, because passing
                                      a budget requires a 2/3 majority. What
                                      the Democrats should be trying to do is
                                      over turn this law.
                                      \_ Democrats need 6 votes in the Assembly
                                         and 2 votes in the Senate to have
                                         this supermajority. If they cannot
                                         convince even that few opponents to
                                         see their point of view then they
                                         aren't trying very hard to find a
                                         compromise. I know you'd like to
                                         see a tyrrany of the majority,
                                         but I rather like this current
                                         system because it represents the
                                         interests of more Californians.
                        \_ Did Reagan institute the first tuition at the UC
                           or didn't he?
              of what public education is for. Is it intended to be a chance
              for everyone to have an opportunity to better themselves, or
              is it just for the wealthy to entrench their children's position
              in society? Californias wealth was founded on the former, btw,
              since a lot of talent goes to waste if you just don't educate
              well the bottom 80%.
              \_ This is when you have to decide what your goal is. If it's
                 to educate everyone cheaply, then UC can do that with the
                 cuts. If the goal is to be a world-class institution, then
                 tuition will have to rise. I think that since Cal State
                 exists to educate the masses at *very* affordable tuition,
                 then it's okay to raise fees at UC to something like 1/2
                 of a comparable private school. I realize fees have gone
                 up a lot, but it's apparently not enough if cuts have
                 to be made. The cost of education has gotten very expensive.
                 I agree that it's too expensive in many instances. However,
                 that's the econimic reality. If you graduate from a school
                 like Boston College you will have over $150K in debt. UC
                 will cost $50K. The State cannot afford to make up the
                 difference any longer.
                 \_ Sure we can. The difference today is that we have decided
                    to spend a whole bunch on putting people in jail, so we
                    have no money left over for college. As Clark Kerr put it:
                    The universities are "bait to be dangled in front
                    of industry, with drawing power greater than low
                    taxes or cheap labour." It is this vision that has given
                    California an educated workforce and high standard of
                    living and we are at risk of losing it. Your point about
                    the CSU system is well noted, but we are also making it
                    harder and harder to afford as well.
                    \_ I agree that the prison system is too expensive, but
                       not all of that is a choice. If people wouldn't
                       commit so many crimes we wouldn't need so many
                       prisons. California is not the white middle-class
                       paradise it was in the 1950s and as the demographic
                       has shifted and gangs have grown in prominence more
                       prisons are necessary. My point was that education
                       costs have increased faster than inflation for
                       whatever reason. Privates have responded by jacking
                       up their tuitions to beyond-reasonable levels and
                       therefore if UC wishes to compete it must do the same.
                       A lot of people blame Prop 98 for taking money from
                       UC, but Prop 98 allocates money to education for all!
                       If UC is to be an elite university for only the
                       best (as it was envisioned) then it has to raise tuition
                       or cut enrollment. Spending on entitlements is only
                       going to grow to a larger share of the budget
                       short-term. Raising taxes is not an option. Increasing
                       tuition is most fair, because it places the burden
                       on those getting the advantage instead of on everyone.
                       By "taxing" students via tuition increases, that is
                       effectively a middle-to-upper class tax increase
                       since those students will be middle-to-upper class
                       taxpayers as they pay their loans back (or their
                       parents already are if daddy is footing the bill).
                       An added benefit is that the UC has to be more
                       accountable to students and parents paying the
                       bills than it does to the anonymous taxpayer and I
                       believe the quality of education will increase.
                       This goes back to the idea of considering students
                       to be sources of revenue (as privates do) versus
                       annoying expenses (as UC does).
                       \_ Why is raising taxes not an option?  Is there any
                          sane reason California does not have an oil excise
                          tax, for example?  -tom
                          \_ Raising income taxes is not an option because the
                             voters are opposed and would rather see
                             expenditures cut. We can debate an oil excise
                             tax, but it's moot because it won't solve the
                             budget problem anyway.
                             \_ No single thing will solve the budget crisis.
                                The ridiculous stand against all conceivable
                                taxes is the primary cause of the budget
                                crisis.  -tom
                                \_ It's not a stand against taxes so much
                                   as it is a stand against current levels
                                   of spending. We've already increased
                                   some taxes (like the sales tax) and now
                                   it's time to make some cuts. That
                                   the legislature screwed around on the
                                   budget for so long and didn't do anything
                                   in a time of crisis highlights the need to
                                   cut government. No one is eager to give
                                   more money to those people to spend given
                                   what they've done with what they have
                                   and raising taxes at a time when so
                                   many are already living with layoffs and
                                   pay cuts will create resentment. Most
                                   of us are already squeezed and giving
                                   our last few pennies to the legislature
                                   isn't high on our list of priorities.
                                   However, anyone so inclined can feel free
                                   to mail in a check to help out.
                                   \_ It absolutely is a stand against taxes.
                                      When people are asked which services
                                      they want to cut, the only service
                                      which people want to cut is prisons.
                                      The only reason the legislature screwed
                                      around for so long on the budget is
                                      that Arnold and the Republicans refused
                                      to even consider proposals which
                                      raised taxes, and we have a budget
                                      situation which cannot be solved
                                      without raising taxes.  (Despite
                                      there now being a "balanced" budget,
                                      it's only through accounting tricks
                                      such as paying this year's final
                                      paycheck on July 1 next fiscal year;
                                      we're going to be in the same
                                      position figuring out the 10-11
                                      budget).  -tom
                                      \_ Not true. People want to cut lots
                                         of things, including more
                                         furloughs for State employees,
                                         less healthcare for illegal
                                         immigrants, and cutting
                                         enrollment at UC. Arnold gave the
                                         voters a chance to avoid cuts and
                                         the public said they want cuts!
                                         So make the cuts! I think cuts
                                         are overdue and if they are
                                         really hurt then we know we cut
                                         deep enough. There hasn't been a
                                         good housecleaning in a while.
                                         \_ Horseshit.  Arnold's initiatives
                                            were complete garbage, and
                                            they wouldn't have stopped a
                                            single furlough.  They generated
                                            almost zero money!  The initiatives
                                            were just a way to further
                                            handicap the legislature's
                                            ability to do anything about
                                            the budget (by shackling them
                                            with more and more rules).  -tom
                                         \_ "Cutting enrollment at UC"?
                                            Are you serious here or just
                                            trolling? Show me the polls where
                                            CA voters want to cut UC enrollment.
                                            \_ I'm a CA voter and I'm in
                                  \_ The Legislature "screwed around" because
                                     of the obstructionist minority GOP.
                                     \_ You mean the party who actually
                                        listened to the voters instead of
                                        their own agenda?
                                        \_ Really, there was an oil excise
                                           tax and a tobacco tax on the
                                           ballot?  I must have missed
                                           that proposition.  -tom
                                           \_ Hmmm. The legislature put
                                              the initiatives on the
                                              ballot. The legislature is
                                              comprised mainly of...?
                                              Prop 1A was a tax hike and
                                              was voted down. Maybe you
                                              missed that.
                                              \_ Prop 1A was not a tax hike.
                                                 It included continuing an
                                                 existing tax in a future
                                                 year (would have had no
                                                 impact on 09-10 finances),
                                                 and a whole bunch of stupid
                                                 shit about the rainy day fund.
                                                 \_ If it doesn't pass, then
                                                    taxes will go down. Of
                                                    course it's a tax hike.
                                                    It was voted down.
                                                    \_ You're an idiot.  -tom
                                                       \_ Nice retort. I
                                                          expected better
                                                          from you, but I
                                                          guess this is
                                                          all you have in
                                                          the face of the
                                                          \_ The next time
                                                             I'm at the top
                                                             of a hill, I'll
                                                             remember that
                                                             not going down
                                                             can be considered
                                                             a hike.  -tom
                                                             \_ Oh come on.
                                                                The proposition
                                                                was to raise
                                                                taxes in future
                                                                years. Without
                                                                it, taxes will
                                                                decline. So it
                                                                is a tax hike.
                                                                What's even
                                                                more damning is
                                                                that voters
                                                                didn't even
                                                                want to vote
                                                                for the status
                                                                quo, let alone
                                                                new higher
                                                                taxes. In
                                                                effect, they
                                                                voted for a tax
                                                                \_ If the prop
                                                                   were only
                                                                   about the
                                                                   tax, you
                                                                   might have
                                                                   a point.
                                                                   It wasn't
                                                                   and you
                                                                   don't.  I
                                                                   would have
                                                                   voted for
                                                                   the tax; I
                                                                   the rainy
                                                                   day shit.
                       \_ People are actually not committing any more crime,
                          we are just locking them up longer for the crime
                          that they committ. Crime rates are way down from
                          the 70s and 80s. This is true even in states that
                          did not get tough on crime, so maybe it is time to
                          rethink our sentencing policies. I can sort of see
                          your argument as long as we are willing to lend
                          even poor students enough money to fund their
                          \_ The crime rate is back down to the level of
                             the early 1970s, which is still above that of
                             the 1950s and 1960s. Do you really want to
                             return to the crime rate of the late 1980s
                             and early 1990s? That is what will happen if
                             we rethink our sentencing. It seems to me that
                             our sentencing is working very well as the tough
                             on crime stance coincides with a reduction
                             in crime. The problem isn't the number of
                             people locked up. It's how much we are paying
                             to incarcerate them. California pays almost
                             60% more per prisoner than other large states.
                             That cost has to come down.
                             \_ We should ship them to prisons in India.
                                Outsourcing something like this isn't
                                rocket science like R&D, and Indians
                                are super cheap.
                                \_ I actually agree with outsourcing. Maybe
                                   not India (too far for visitation) but
                                   to states that do this more cheaply
                                   (and better) than we can.
                             \_ Maybe you missed the part where I said that
                                even states that have lower incarceration rates
                                than CA saw a similar drop in crime. Correlation
                                does not imply causation. It is almost certain
                                that there are other factors which lead to all
                                or most of the drop in the crime rate.
                                \_ Maybe, maybe not. I can tell you that
                                   releasing a lot of inmates isn't going to be
                                   *good* for the crime rate. Most of them
                                   end up back in jail when released anyway.
                                   \_ We wil find out pretty soon, won't we?
                                      The murder rate is down, even though
                                      we are in a recession. I don't think that
                                      violent crime is going to go up, though
                                      perhaps the amount of drug use will.
                                      \_ Murder rate is down b/c so much of the
                                         riff-raff is in jail! (possibly)
                                         \_ The incarceration rate has not
                                            increased from 2008-2009, but the
                                            murder rate went down.
        \_ Welcome to the reality that not everyone should go to college.
           if they did, our standard of living would go down, nobody to
           run the services well.
           \_ Yes I agree! We should also legalize illegal immigrants who
              are the backbone of Los Angeles. The Angelinos have it good,
              everything is so cheap there and gourmet tacos like Lolo,
              Mercedes Hair of the Dog Cantina are everywhere and they're
              just called... tacos!
              \_ Wtf? Dude the czech woman who cuts my hair is an Ex Model
                 from EU,  Think I want her to go to college so I can get
                 some ugly fat woman cutting my hair?
              \_ What are they called elsewhere?
                 \_ In Northern Cal, Mexican food is gourmet food. In LA,
                    it's just called food.
                    \_ We have gourmet Mexican and Mission Burritos, we go
                       the whole gamut. I think LA does too.
                    \_ I get 'mexican food' from the little holes in the wall.
                       what is this 'gourmet' you speak of?
2022/08/19 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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        Schwarzenegger appointed former Democratic Assemblywoman Nicole Parra
        to a newly created $128,124-a-year job and named former Republican
        Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian to a board slot with a similar salary, his
        office announced Tuesday."
2008/11/2-4 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Arnold] UID:51781 Activity:moderate
11/2    EXTREMELY long rant against Proposition 8 and judicial
        activism relocated to /tmp/MarriageRant.  Read it there.
        Leave it there.
        \_ The rant there is *for* prop 8
        \_ Pro prop 8 guy needs to be squished. I'm voting against Prop 8
           for the sake of giving conservatives my message: Get your
2008/8/29-9/3 [Politics/Domestic/Election] UID:51005 Activity:nil 70%like:51039
8/29    McCain only met with Palin once.
        The facts on Palin are going to be gold for the Dems:
        \_ "Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9000 with
           zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the

2008/7/8-11 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Arnold, Politics/Domestic/Crime] UID:50497 Activity:kinda low
7/8     FREE HANS
        \_ It seems like he has a decent chance of getting out in 15 years.
           Would they let him use computers in jail?
           \_ CA pretty much doesn't give parole to murderers anymore.
              And I suspect his computer use will be pretty much non-
2008/5/20-23 [Politics/Domestic/California/Arnold] UID:50012 Activity:nil
5/20    "California proposes porn tax" link:www.yahoo.com/s/884494
        Gee, we should have elected Mary Carey instead of Arnold
        Schwarzenegger for governor.
        \_ that's for sure.
        \_ She probably has bigger stones than he does.
Cache (3150 bytes)
tinyurl.com/kr92ob -> www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14183037
United States California's universities in trouble Before the fall Aug 6th 2009 | LOS ANGELES From The Economist print edition California's financial crisis jeopardises one of the world's finest universities Eyevine Seed corn in peril at Berkeley THE best public higher education in the world is to be found at the University of California (UC). This claim is backed up by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, which provides an authoritative ranking of research universities. The UC's campus at Berkeley ranks third behind two private universities, Harvard and Stanford. Several of the other ten UC sites, such as Los Angeles and San Diego, are not far behind. It is therefore no small matter that this glory may be about to end. "We are in irreversible decline," says Sandra Faber, a professor of astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz who has inadvertently become a mouthpiece for a fed-up faculty. University excellence, she says, "took decades to build. California has been suffering serial budget crises, the latest of which was resolved last month in a rather desperate deal between the governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the legislature. It contained huge cuts, including $2 billion lopped from higher education. The UC alone has lost a cumulative $813m of state funding in the last fiscal year and the current one, a cut of 20%. The second-tier California State University (Cal State), with 23 campuses the largest in the country, and the third-tier community colleges have also been clobbered. The cuts threaten the legacy of two visionaries, Edmund "Pat" Brown, governor from 1959 to 1967, and Clark Kerr, who was in charge of the UC during those years. Kerr envisioned the state's public universities as "bait to be dangled in front of industry, with drawing power greater than low taxes or cheap labour." In a 1960 master-plan he created the three-tiered system. First, to educate as many young Californians as affordably as possible. The best students would go to the UC, the next lot to Cal State and the rest to community colleges with the possibility of trading up. Kerr went about this like a talent scout, and his successors have continued the practice. The UC campuses have collectively produced more Nobel laureates than any other university. State spending per student in the UC system, adjusted for inflation, has fallen by 40% since 1990, says Mark Yudof, the current UC president. The Public Policy Institute of California, a non-partisan think-tank, projects that California's economy will face a shortfall of 1m college graduates by 2025, depressing the prosperity of the entire state. Public universities, which award 75% of all the state's bachelor degrees, will be largely responsible. Both the UC and Cal State are planning to send professors and staff on leave, cram more students into classrooms and offer fewer courses. Attracting and keeping academic stars, and the research dollars that usually follow them, will become much harder. She recently hired three world-class assistant professors whose salaries are now at risk. Other universities have begun to get in touch with them, she says, and they will probably leave.