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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Should Berkeley Be Michigan? Dialgoue on Privatization and Budget Studies

This discussion has taken off as Berkeley faculty call for leveraging the campus's unique strenghts in the downturn. This is thought to include a greater draw on out-of-state students than other UC campuses, and an ability to charge higher tuition. Others argue that higher tuition for a handful of the senior campuses would lead to the stratification of the system, wasteful competition, and a decline in quality for students overall. Nobody 's going to shift their current position much without an independent budget assessment of the impact of tuition hikes on the affected campus, which I call for here.

Some relevant documents:

The Futures Report, pp 29-34 on the Michigan scenario.
UCSF Professor Stan Glantz (Futures Report co-author) on Restoring the Master Plan
UCB Professor David A. Hollinger on more out-of-state students for Berkeley
UCSB Professor Chris Newfield's comments on the budgetary issues involved in a "Michiganization" analysis
UCB Professor Chris Rosen on studying budgets and subsidies
Hollinger's response to Newfield
UCLA Prof. Michael Meranze on the privatization debate
Exchange between Newfield and Judith Innes on budget studies


Anonymous said...

On Privatization in California vs Privatization in Michigan, note this difference between California and Michigan:

In Michigan, there are two or three major universities: U of M at Ann Arbor, Michigan State, and Wayen State. Of these, U of M Ann Arbor is the only truly major research national and international research university. When U of M Ann Arbor tilted toward privatization, it had no competition in-state.

Now California. A privatized UC system or a privatized Berkeley or UCLA or UCSD would enter a field already dominated by Stanford and, secondarily, USC. No privatized UC entity could compete with Stanford or USC for financial aid or resources for faculty.

Unlike in Michigan, privatizing the UC system or its self-indulgently topmost parts (UCB, UCLA, UCSD) would leave the campuses at a competitive disadvantage.

Yes, I think accepting more out of state students is an option to consider. But a more extensive privatization is far from a cure-all. A truly realistic assessment would demand more skepticism of the economic and competitive feasibility of this option than Hollinger allows.

Kevin said...

Michigan State has been moving up since UM privatized. It is probably now comparable to UC Davis. Disclaimer: I'm an MSU alumnus, so my data may be biased by the propaganda they distribute to their alumni.

I think that there is a way that "privatization" could work. If UC charged all students the same---the full cost of educating them, with now "return to aid" tax, and the state provided funds ONLY in the form of financial aid to students.

This would leave the Regents free to set the tuition level honestly at the real price, and make it very clear to the politicians what their money is buying---how many students they are supporting and how much they are supporting each one.

Anonymous said...

The University of Michigan has not and will not privatize. See www.ur.umich.edu/0809/Apr27_09/21.php

KG Blankinship said...

Michigan would play a predominant role in the eastern half of the Midwest.

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