Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC
For the Week of October 21, 2013

Former UC Berkeley chancellor Robert Birgeneau said that UC needs to accept that state funding will not return to the levels of a decade ago, reports the Huffington Post. Birgeneau spoke ahead of the release of a documentary film, “At Berkeley,” which chronicles how UC leaders responded to state budget cuts in 2010. Birgeneau said UC needs to find new revenue sources and increase private fundraising, possibly leading to the privatization of public higher education. The University of Oregon, for instance, is spinning off three campuses from its seven-campus system, allowing them autonomy in governance and financing.

The 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education envisioned that some form of higher education would be available to qualified students regardless of socioeconomic standing, and that spaces at UC would be guaranteed to the top one-eighth of graduating high school seniors. But according to the chair of California’s Little Hoover Commission, “The Master Plan is dead and probably has been for a long time.” The commission’s report advocates for a new master plan, a position endorsed by the Sacramento Bee.

The Contra Costa Times reports that new UC president Janet Napolitano, currently making the rounds of UC campuses, is vowing to keep tuition affordable.

An internal UCLA report has found that the university failed to pursue complaints of racial discrimination.

The California State University system is helping to promote the Affordable Care Act. CSU is applying for a $1.25 million federal grant to reach students. Unlike UC campuses, which require its students to have health insurance, CSU does not. CSU estimates that about 30 percent of its students are uninsured.

The Davis city council approved a plan to allow UC Davis’s fire chief to lead the fire department of the city of Davis.

UC Berkeley and UCLA came in 7th and 15th, respectively, in The Daily Beast’s “Down and dirty: guide to the best colleges 2013.”

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