Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC
For the Week of January 14, 2013

Governor Brown's state budget proposal will help the UC and CSU systems stave off a tuition increase this year, but "the amount fell short" of what both systems requested. On Sunday the Sacramento Bee noted that the governor is "urging spending reductions as part of a 'new paradigm' in higher education," and plans to participate actively in meetings of the systems' governing boards. UCOP officials claim to be committed "to reducing systemwide administrative expenses by half a billion dollars over a five-year period, part of its ongoing effort to cut costs, find new revenue sources and work more efficiently."

The UC Davis pepper-spraying incident in 2011 is finally being laid to rest with a federal judge's approval of a $1 million settlement agreement reached in September 2011, which will provide financial damages to students who were sprayed at close range as well as their attorneys and other plaintiffs. The Associated Press reports includes some of the other costs of the settlement, which "will come from UC's self-insurance program..."

Online education and UC spending on it was the subject of many articles last week in California and elsewhere (among them, "UC online classes flop"; "UC's $4.3 Million on Marketing Online Courses Nabs One Person," and "UC spends big to market its online courses — but reaches only one person"), but the picture is more complex. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, "1,700 UC students [are] taking 14 classes that premiered a year ago," in addition to the "online classes that UC has offered enrolled students for years." The failure was in attracting students outside the UC system. Two other articles in the New York Times and Inside Higher Education offer more realistic pictures of the future of online education and whether it will be profit-making.

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