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Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011
Sorry for the lack of links the past couple of days--it has been a very busy week.  Anyway, we have a bunch for you below the fold.

And don't forget Stan Glantz's post on UC privatization immediately below!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011
by Stanton A. Glantz, Professor of Medicine, UCSF

    UC (and CSU’s) ongoing financial problems are not a result of the fact that alumni are not generous, they are the result of the failed policy of privatization that UC has been following since shortly after Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor.  Schwarzenegger pursued an aggressive policy of privatization designed to shift the cost of higher education away from taxpayers on to students and their families. The increases in fees, while annually presented as a response to ongoing budgetary problems, were established as policy within the Compact for Higher Education that the governor signed with the presidents of the University of California and California State University in 2005.  The Compact implemented the governor's free-market ideology: A college or professional education meant higher earnings, and if people wanted those higher earnings they should be willing to pay for the necessary. State funding for education was not viewed as a responsibility to the next generation of Californians but rather as a "subsidy" which distorted the free market for education.

    While I do not believe that our current governor, Jerry Brown, shares former governor Schwarzenegger's ideological position, the reality is that he is not given public higher education priority and, indeed, has accelerated the budget cuts and push to privatization.

    Some University leaders have welcomed the changes, sharing the previous governor's view that privatization was a good thing that would allow the University more freedom, unfettered by the responsibilities and constraints of a public institution. Others remained committed to the idea of a public university, but felt that, given California's requirement for a two thirds vote for taxes in the state legislature combined with a rabid antitax position of the Republican minority in the legislature, privatization was inevitable.  These people reluctantly saw the idea of restoring the University of California to its preeminence as a public institution of higher education as unrealistic wishful thinking.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
English Academics respond to the Government's plans.  They have done so by offering an alternative vision of higher ed.

In a bold bid for the future, Texas may eliminate 1/2 of its undergraduate physics programs.

The recession has made income inequality in California even greater than it was before.

Faculty group releases proposal to change undergrad education at Berkeley.

Protest over Berkeley Republicans' "diversity" Bake Sale.

In case you were curious about what "Occupy Wall Street" looks like.  Because you sure won't get anything from the established media.  Although the NYT will be happy to tell you why you shouldn't care.

Hey David Brooks, math really does matter!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011
More on the Irvine 11 case.

Bob Samuels Reports from Washington.

Bob also comments on the President's "jobs bill."

Brown considering second part of California's Dream Act.  There is a lot of pressure over the question of financial aid.

It looks like David Crane's time on the Board of Regents is coming to an end.

But Crane is still continuing his fight to bust Public Employee Unions and people's pension plans.

The New York Times notices that there is a tuition crisis at UC. (h/t to Dan Mitchell)

Live Blogging on Occupy Wall Street.

The NYT condescends to Occupy Wall Street.

And why didn't the NYT notice this?

Looks like "right to work" doesn't solve everything: South hit especially hard in the lesser depression.

Ed Miliband accused of caving on Student Fees in England.

US News & World Report doesn't see any reason to change its rankings despite criticisms.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011
Important developments in the Irvine 11 case and Berkeley protests, Jerry signs the amazon bill, UC Davis is expanding, and nostalgia for shared governance.  That and other news and analysis below the fold.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011
Lots of Links today so I have put them below the fold to save front page space.  Don't forget Chris' recent post on the Regents immediately below this one.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
At the session of their Finance Committee on September 15, the UC Regents had their most intense and serious discussion of UC's budgetary crisis in recent memory.  The immediate cause was the Office of the President's first multi-year budget framework, and the reason it stirred so much debate is because it pulls a tuition trigger if state funding comes up short.  I'll describe some highlights of the debate, the deadlock that resulted, and several likely ways out of the deadock, which requires a minor but difficult paradigm shift on the Board.

UCOP calculates a $2.5 billion funding gap by 2015-16 (Display 4).  (This understates the actual gap, which is more like $2.5 billion right now (Figure 6), based on the 2001 Pathway and revenue needs of the Regents' own priorities (Figure 7), but I am so happy to see actual numbers presented to the public that I will skip the criticism.)  UCOP then reduces the gap to $1.5 billion with efficiencies (also too optimistic but what the heck!). The important bit is that they set a clear quantitative goal of recovering some major revenues -- $1.5 billion -- and show Sacramento the exact consequences of non-restoration of funds. This is genuine progress, and formed the basis of an important debate.

The headlines before the meeting captured the outcome of UCOP's worst-case scenario of zero increases (actually not the worst, given recent cuts), which would take UC tuition to over $22,000 for in-state students by 2015-16 (close but probably too low: see our projection in March).  UCOP's strategy is clearly not to try to raise tuition to that level, but to pressure the state into doing its duty to high-quality public education by reinvesting in the university.

This is where the debate began.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011
John Judis offers a very thoughtful overview of the ways that the present economic crisis repeats that of the 1930s.  There are some differences though including the changed nature of the world economy.  And given the ongoing policy mistakes of international economic and political leaders those changes mean that things might end up worse than the 30s. 

Contrary to the ideologists of hi-tech, the outsourcing of hi-tech jobs is a huge driver of US trade deficit and a serious contributor to high unemployment.

The latest Anderson Report suggests that inland California will lag behind in whatever recovery the State manages.   Without building and population growth inland unemployment will continue to be high.  But Anderson doesn't believe that either the state or the nation will fall back into another recession.  Of course that presumes that we aren't in one already.

2/3 of Californians oppose the automatic trigger cuts that were written into the state budget.

SJSU students protest being displaced from campus housing by large entering class.

Legal proceedings for Berkeley March Protesters continue.

Closing arguments in the Irvine 11 case are moving towards completion.  Defense attorneys defend the students' free speech rights.  Of course the Prosecutor doesn't like that argument.

In addition to his call for some tax increases, it seems that Obama's deficit plan does include serious cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

The IMF is now worried that policy makers in Europe and the US have bought into Neo-Liberalism too much.  When the IMF thinks you are too neo-liberal you really think it might give policy makers pause.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011
To distract yourself from the California meltdown, read UK Universities Minister David Willetts take to the Guardian defend the multi-year elimination of nearly all direct public funding, among his other measures.  See Willetts sophistically claim that government investment has not been cut because student loans are really the same as grants.

This weekend the New York Times magazine had several good pieces on education.  See in particular What if the Secret to Success Is Failure, which is about the role of education in building personalities that can sustain effort, insight, creativity, and success -- all depending on the kind of individualizing environment that budget cuts are wrecking at the public college level.

Salt Lake's Deseret News seems to be one of the few dailies that noticed the US slipping again in the OECD's international rankings of student attainment, this time from 12th to 16th.  Paul Glastris attributes national compacency to US News's annual parade of elite privates, which he says suggests the U.S. is still on top.

But there's a deeper dynamic at work, something more weirdly self-destructive within American policy today. For example, Paul Krugman writes what must be his 50th denunciation of irrational Hooverist austerity that torpodoes the economy -- or, in today's metaphor, that applies leeches to bleed an already enfeebled patient.  Closer to hope, I am nearly done listening to a recording of last Thursday's UC Regent's Committee on Finance discussion of UCOP's idea of presenting Sacramento with a simple tradeoff between increased state support and tuition hikes. There is no consensus among the Regents about what the legislature thinks of UC, and thus nothing close to a strategy.  I'll say more about this meeting later, but a mysterious vortex is pulling at everyone.

Many Regents returned to the old standby solution of increased private fundraising, this time with more emphasis on scholarships to preserve access.  At the same time, coverage of Moody's new report on higher education begins, "Public and private universities across the United States have been struggling with endowment losses, thin liquidity, declining gifts, reduced state help and resistance to tuition hikes since 2008."   Fundraising was flat in 2010, and the decline  in megagifts implies that the costs of fundraising are increasing faster than the returns themselves.  The Regental debate suggests skepticism towards philanthropy on the Board as well.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011
Even the Regents don't seem to buy UCOP's Magic Tuition Machine   But they are happy to raise executive salaries.

Regent David Crane thinks UC should become more like a private university.

Berkeley Public Education Coalition responds to Tuition increases.

Regents discuss Graduate Funding.

And the LAO is skeptical that UC needs so much money. (h/t Dan Mitchell)

Is the renovation of Cal Stadium a huge financial mistake? (h/t Catherine Cole)

The Defense has rested its case in the Irvine 11 case.

Illinois Labor Board certifies a faculty union at UIC.  Of course the administration is vowing to appeal.

Cutting Administration may not be everything.  But it sure isn't nothing.

Looks like the budget of the NSF is going to get cut.

Dean Baker offers some thoughts on the David Brooks lack of thought.

Ron Susskind reports that Tim Geithner blocked order to restructure Citibank.

Yves Smith doesn't believe that story for a second.

If you want to improve K-12 education you need to work with teachers not attack them.

Applications for Unemployment are up, the economy is down, and the political class is pushing for more cuts to government spending.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011
The LAT has more info on UCOP's Magic Never-Ending Tuition Machine.

CA Republicans have filed suit to block the redistricting plan because it didn't turn out the way they hoped.

The Trial of the Irvine 11 continues.

Nearly 1/4 of California's Children are living in Poverty.  It is a problem for the future as well as the present.

But apparently Texas (home of the "miracle") has the highest, and fastest growing, poverty levels in the country.

Central Banks are pumping Credit into European Banks.

UK unions have set November 30 as day of Strike to Oppose Pension cuts.

Community Colleges across the nation face increasing financial strains.  So do students.

California Student Default Rates:  They are highest at for-profits.

SAT scores are down.  Whatever that means.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Bob Samuels is taking the fight to Washington.

SFGate provides more detail on UC's plan for consistently raising tuition.

The Economist takes the time to remind everyone of a fundamental reality: California's semi-privatization of higher ed is bad for both the state and its economy.

The California Budget Project has the latest analysis on the long-term increase in spending on Corrections in California.

The State's Revenues exceeded expectations in August, but September will be key to whether "triggers" kick in.

The Delta Project suggests that in the first year of ARRA colleges did a pretty good job protecting core functions.   But they also show that gaps between rich and poor institutions are growing and that community colleges are being hit hardest by the cuts.

Higher Education Price Index rose last year at twice as fast a pace as the year before.

The number of Americans living below the poverty line is at its highest in over 50 years.  Blacks and Latinos have been especially hard hit.

The Washington Post points out that low capital gains tax rates have increased inequality.  Color me shocked.

Texas Teachers are struggling with the effects of $4 Billion dollars in budget cuts.

Congress has decided to make it easier to start Charter Schools.

Dems upset in two crucial House elections.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
So the Regents start their September meeting today with their usual agenda. 

Of course you should take a look through it yourself but among the highlights are the presentation of  a budget plan that would most likely raise tuition between 60 and 80% over the next 4 years, discussion of the funding of UC Graduate Students, an update on the much vaunted attempt to introduce administrative efficiency through technologies, the "annual report on ethics and compliance," a discussion of whether UC is compensating Chancellors well enough, and a report on UC investments.

Does California Need to Reinvent its Higher Ed System?  John Aubrey Douglass thinks so. 

Calpers is planning on investing $800 million in California Infrastructure.

The State Republicans blocked Jerry's effort to prevent corporations from deciding how much they should be taxed.

In Washington, Republicans don't like Obama's latest jobs proposal because it might ask corporations to pay more for their private jets.

The President of Vassar has a suggestion on how to change college rankings.

Rick Scott wants to imitate Rick Perry in changing Florida's universities.

Fewer people are applying to M.B.A. programs.

According to the Census most people in the US are getting poorer.  Not surprisingly people in California have been very hard hit.

The UK had the third highest fees for Higher Ed in the OECD before the recent tuition increases.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011
The latest on UC's online project:  UCOP is looking for students overseas.  Its participants are sure the offerings will be fabulous.

Larry Pitts announces his retirement as of February.

Regents to Discuss Plan to Raise Fees Dramatically over the next 4 years if state funding is not increased.

The University of Illinois is trying to set up new email rules to more closely regulate control what faculty and students may say online and where they can say it.  

Faculty at Western Nevada are fighting back against the firing of tenured faculty:  they won't serve on search committees for replacements.

In case you hadn't noticed, campuses are turning into one big commercial.

Bank of America is planning on cutting 30,000 jobs.

Surprisingly, Britain's Austerity plan will increase inequality and lower the standard of living for the poor.

As the economy declines, student default rates are going UP.

Apparently the Wise People are pressuring the Super Congress to Cut even more than they are required to.

Jamie Dimon thinks that he and his Friends should be deciding what to do about banks.  Apparently consumers are too self-interested.

Oh, and he also thinks that US banks should tell international regulators how to set up the world's financial rules.  I guess that is because they did such a great job of running the world before.

There is a new analysis out about the tension between Freedom of Information Laws and Academic Freedom following all the recent controversies about emails.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011
By Catherine Liu

While UC Chancellors have their annual chortle over rising SAT scores and UC elitism, UC professors and lecturers on the ground have found, like blog commenter TB, that a larger and larger proportion of UC freshmen arrive on campus requiring remedial education in basic academic skills. How is it possible that incoming freshmen are getting higher than ever scores on standardized tests, but are so much less academically equipped to deal with college level learning?

The mis-education of California is no accident: it has been highly profitable for the privately held, for profit segments of the education industry. Educational Testing Services, purveyors of the SAT’s and California’s STAR tests for K-12 students, swears up and down that one cannot teach to their tests. Tell that to entrepreneur Stanley Kaplan, who started a mom-and-pop-shop doing exactly that. Today, the conglomerate that bears his name is worth $2.8 billion and is a for-profit educational services provider owned by the Washington Post.