Jerrry Brown and UC


So the guv is going to start showing up at UC and CSU board meetings, where he will be able to sit next to his pal Gavin Newsom. And he's going to tell the administrators that they have to start getting serious about cost-cutting -- as if they haven't whacked billions out of their budgets in the past few years.

I'm with Jerry on one thing: The Number One, absolute, top priority of the institutions of higher education in this state has to be avoiding hikes in tuition and fees. In fact, I'd put a five-year moratorium on anything that would increase costs for students. It's already too expensive to go to a state school, middle-class parents are getting priced out, and kids are graduating with so much debt that they're financially paralyzed for years.

The promise of an affordable, quality college education that Jerry's dad created in this state is gone, and it's not coming back until the price of a four-year degree comes back into synch with what Californians can pay. (Yes: UC is still a huge bargain compared to private schools. But you can go to college in Canada for half the price of UC, even if you're an American. If you're a Canadian citizen, you can go to really great colleges for almost nothing. That's the way California used to be.

And no question: There's bloat at UC. Administrators make too much money. I refuse to believe that you have to pay such giant salaries to attract people who can run the schools.

But that's a small part of the overall UC and CSU budget. And Brown has to understand that higher education isn't like most businesses. The productivity increases that corporate America (and that many other parts of state government) have seen in the digital era don't translate directly to colleges. A company can lay off lots of staff that did things like answer phones and replace them with (annoying) voice-mail robots, and accountants can work faster and machines can make cars better than (expensive) labor forces did. But it still takes one full human being to teach English Lit, and he or she can still only teach a certain number of students, and grade a certain number of papers. And if all the smartest physicists and electrical engineers want to go to work for Oracle or Google, you have to pay more to get them to get a few to pursue careers in academia.

Brown's proposal seems to be online classes, which would allow one prof to reach thousands of students, without anyone showing up in a classroom. Nice idea, but teaching isn't just giving a lecture. Sure, some classes work fine on the web, but a lot don't and never will.

Seriously, guv: Would you rather have this bloody fight that could damage your dad's enduring legacy, or go along with an oil severance tax?





And you appear to be aware of at least one avenue of cost saving. Do we really need to teach so much teacher-intensice classes like English Lit that don't prepare you for a career?

how about cutting some of the liberala rts classes and focusing more on the engines of CA growth, like tech, finance, real estate, biotech etc.

The other problem, as always, is the pay and benefits of UC staff. You single out the administrators and I'm sure we can fire a bunch of them and not even notice the difference. But let's cut back on pay and benefits for the teaching staff, support staff and anyone who is unionized.

We just cannot afford to carry these parasites any more.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 14, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

Yeah, what do we need the liberal arts for, they were only the intellectual foundation of all that got us to this point?

This is what sawing off a bough 100' up while sitting on the far end of it looks like.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 14, 2013 @ 6:59 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 14, 2013 @ 7:39 pm

Creators of literature are among those who really do create wealth, unlike speculators, CEOs, and investment bankers. It's the kind of wealth that a nation passes on to its children as its cultural heritage.

Just as Shakespeare is remembered and considered a treasure, while the captains of industry of his day are long forgotten (quick... name the Chairman of the British East India Company or the most successful tulip speculator of the 1600s)... so too will future generations see real wealth in people like Allen Ginsburg or even JK Rowling. Meanwhile, people like Ron Conway or Rob Black or Meg Whitman will be long forgotten, because their life's work created nothing for society.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 14, 2013 @ 8:07 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2013 @ 7:35 am

"There is more honor to be found in the boudoir of a lady of easy virtue than in the counting-house of a banker." ~Heinrich Heine

Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2013 @ 3:00 pm


Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2013 @ 5:40 pm

Are you mentally retarded?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 11:21 am

would not categorize him as retarded.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 12:02 pm

Well, actually, we refer to "special needs" people nowadays, but in the case of this particular miscreant troll, the need is for some sort of antabuse for bootlickers. Hmmm... something which will make the black leathery boot covered with blood and spit and shit taste bad when you suck on it.... still trying to wrap my mind around the problem...

Posted by lillipublicans on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

You know, right before they banned you for trolling?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

I thought the promise of Prop 30 was that the cuts would end, and in fact students would get some money restored to them.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 14, 2013 @ 6:20 pm

Were you thinking that .25 cent of an increase in sales tax plus tax on the wealthy was going to carry us forward into the glorious forever? It's already gobbled up.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 14, 2013 @ 7:12 pm

He wants a 100% tax on everything. Your comment fails to take into account the Greg's of the world think we should all be working for some level of government.

Someday we will all be employees of the, city, county, state, federal, world government.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 14, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

The only thing that we should tax at 100% is Wall Street salaries of certain job classifications so that the same level of resource commitment that drives rule evasion can be used to enforce rule compliance. You need the smartest people in the room to police the smartest people in the room.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 14, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

is 100%. Or in fact anything over 50%.

You've clearly never run a business.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2013 @ 7:37 am

We wouldn't be any worse off, and probably a whole lot better if we could get our hands on all the millions they've pilfered from municipalities, the state, pension funds, colleges and universities.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2013 @ 3:18 pm

but the Gregs and Tims of the world want more, more, MORE.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 14, 2013 @ 10:20 pm

Have you no imagination, no vision, no sense that we do better? Hint: Take a look at the state of Calif's education system under Pat Brown, the current governor's father, then fast forward to today's brave new world of indentured students with no future and no job prospects to look forward to. Is this what you're willing to settle for?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2013 @ 3:09 pm

Every single year and they certainly are not in favor of passing them so state employees can get a raise and a better pension deal. The battle to pass Prop 30 was incredibly expensive and hard fought - the resources do not exist to do that every year.

Pat Brown also didn't have the major expense of collectively bargained SEIU contracts to deal with - Jerry does because he made the poor decision to allow them to collectively bargain back in the 1970s. While Pat Brown spent money on infrastructure improvements for our great state his soon Jerry's stuck paying the ludicrous benefits demanded by SEIU and other state employee unions. See how well that argument "Union members need more money" works out for you as a slogan the next time state government comes asking for a tax increase. And I SUPPORTED Prop 30.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 15, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

Teachers are essential to preserve our future. Oil companies are the parasites. They've been getting a free ride from California for too long.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 14, 2013 @ 6:22 pm

Salaries should reflect that essential distinction.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 14, 2013 @ 7:40 pm

Teachers create wealth. They foster the critical thinking skills needed to create anything.

Resource extraction does nothing but appropriate public wealth that is already there, and belongs to all the nation, steals that wealth, and concentrates it into private hands.

Besides, we need to broaden our definition of "wealth." A richer society is not just one that creates more stuff.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 14, 2013 @ 7:56 pm

your pay at your new job will be one part money, and three part good intentions. The San Francisco labor department says we can pay you two parts good intentions but we pay one more, enjoy."

It seems many progressives can't find the library or bookstore on their own.

Sadly Adobe on 16th and Valencia is going out of business. They have their oddly arranged selection on sale for 75% off.

Progressives, get books without your teacher telling you what to buy and read all on your own for once. Bring your yuppie Amazon wish list.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 14, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

the above ignorant commenter, let me post a link about the failure of online courses at UC--$4.3 million in marketing and only one student enrolled:

Thanks to Redmond for the article with valid points about the shifting of funding of public education from tax revenue to indebtedness to the financial industries for private profit. Same story across much of our economy. Cut taxes, force governments to borrow from bondholders, create a false deficit crisis, cut or privatize programs, rinse and repeat.

Posted by Eddie on Jan. 14, 2013 @ 6:34 pm

The UC regents secure lines of credit for capital construction based on their unrestricted ability to raise tuition and fees.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 14, 2013 @ 7:01 pm


Posted by marcos on Jan. 14, 2013 @ 7:10 pm

I know that French "r" gives you (Americans) a lot of trouble, but keep practicing ;)

Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

Research professors are not overcompensated bureaucrats. Research professors bring in grant money that pays their own salaries as well as that of their grad students and post-docs plus all that fancy equipment, and that's after UC dings them 40% off the top for overhead. And, yes they also spend time teaching those lucky undergrads, in between making those discoveries that made all of today's technology and your spoiled lifestyle possible, not to mention zillions for Steve Jobs and his ilk, who dressed it up pretty and marketed the heck out of it.

There are however, a bevy of overcompensated bureaucrats at UC, many with six-figure salaries that would be the envy of East Bay union police, who may be overcompensated but at least get their hands dirty now and then. UC is rife with useless paper pushers who wouldn't know real work if it bit em, who spend their days adding more sand to the gears of the dysfunctional machinery. The most egregious examples are the many with "student something" in their job titles who sit far away from any students and never interact with them except perhaps to set up some more hoops for them to jump through and paper to fill out when they actually want to graduate.

Hiring ridiculously overcompensated Chancellors as figureheads, and not even good ones at that, is just the icing on the whole toxic cake. UCB certainly shouldn't have given the new one a $50K/yr raise, but the liberals are apparently learning from the Republicans that things can just keep getting better for those on top as long as those on the bottom can endure a little more austerity each year. I wonder if this famous anthropologist has read and understood Jared Diamond's "Collapse"...

Posted by Guest on Jan. 14, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

but let's not mention the elephant in the room.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2013 @ 10:10 am

I swear I must have read that same line at least a thousand times during all the pension debates on this site (over several years, too). Can't you guys come up with anything original to say?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

You probably read that line a lot because it's true.

Posted by The Commish on Jan. 15, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

Or you start to believe it because, well, you've read it everywhere. Isn't that the idea?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2013 @ 4:23 pm

Hi, thanks for sharing.

Posted by card on Apr. 10, 2013 @ 4:05 pm