Thursday, September 24, 2009

UCLA Protests Budget Cuts: "Whose University? Our University"

Your loyal embedded reporter risked injury to take this exciting picture of an active protest at UCLA:

In contrast, Beijing's leading universities are focused on research and teaching rather than protest. Here was the scariest sight I could see at the Peking University Business School.

I suggested that this was a monument in Bill Clinton's honor and my hosts agreed.

Returning to the UCLA protests, what is the issue here? My University has a serious budget deficit. Do we balance such a budget by raising revenue (i.e Tuition and the % of out of state students)? Or by cutting expenditure? (i.e no more hiring and faculty and staff pay cuts)

Who bears the incidence of bad news? Of course, I think that the students should. Ignoring liquidity constraints, attending UCLA is still a wise long term investment even if we charged $65,000 per year per student.

Murphy Hall is not this brave. Given UCLA's prominent name, from now on we should take 50% of our students from out of state and the extra tuition we could collect would cover the University's costs. There wouldn't have to be these draconian pay cuts that threaten to lead to a massive Brain Drain starting this year. Has anyone asked the UCLA Law School Dean whether his paycut was a "push" in encouraging him to leave?


Jason Snyder said...

Unfortunately the out of state students can become residents after 1 year. We should close that loophole.

Josh said...

As for residency, as a California tax-payer, if you decide to either jack up tuition seriously high, or encourage more out-of-staters, I would lobby heavily to cut state-level subsidization. And I'm your biggest fan, no doubt.

This is just like National parks. They could quadruple their prices for entrance, and many make a killing. But, what is the purpose of a National Park? Is there a public benefit? Or should it be just a series of private, individual transactions?

As for the 'troubles' in China, I seem to remember some student protests a few years back with some very different outcomes. Also, most of the folks there (e.g., Tibet) may have different pictures to show. Only they aren't allowed.