i’ve calmed down (marginally) since yesterday, and i’ve had the chance to discuss the issue with people, and so i’ve decided to sort of refine, perhaps even clarify, what i said in my previous post.
i don’t think it’s exactly a good idea for the legislature to take control of the uc system. they can’t even deal with the problems they have, and adding a 10-campus system and its problems–not to mention the extra layer of bureaucracy–would not do anyone any good.
regardless, i think it says something serious (and seriously disturbing) about the Regents’ standing among the people of California that anyone at all is even suggesting that control be handed over to a legislature that no one trusts. a friend of mine brought up the point that while we have figures on the legislature’s approval rating, we don’t have any for the UC. it’d be interesting to see what those figures would be. at this point, it’s basically two equally fucked-up institutions duking it out to see who is going to control what remains of the state’s higher education system.
from the official UC response to yesterday’s news report:
California might have trouble marketing its bonds in the current fiscal crisis, but UC has a AA1/AA rating. The state budget may have fallen over a cliff, but UC has managed its resources prudently in a tough environment. It has been able to preserve its world class status — a thrumming engine of educational opportunity, scientific advance and economic stimulus — even as it has absorbed a steady onslaught of cuts dictated from Sacramento.
Even with pinched budgets, UC still can attract top leaders to its 10 campuses and five medical centers, and can do so despite the easily verified fact that we compensate them well below the national average for comparable institutions.
i nearly fell out of my chair when i read that this morning. i’m pretty sure that i have a drastically different defintion of “prudent” than what’s in use above, for the bajillion reasons i’ve laid out in my previous rants about the current drama.
so, to sum up (and hopefully i won’t have any more diatribes on this topic for a while): i don’t think that the legislature could or should take control; i don’t think that if they did, they would do any better with the system than the regents are. but i’m hoping that the just broaching the idea is enough to make the regents realize that people aren’t going to stand for this crap much longer, and that they need to get their shit together.