Teams spared to promote equality

July 12, 2010

By LAURA SUCHESKI

Add “gender inequality” to the growing lists of frivolous objections to cuts in state-funded programs.

The Select Committee on Gender Discrimination will meet this evening to put a moratorium on UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi’s decision to eliminate four varsity sports teams, two each for men and women. The committee plans to question Chancellor Katehi so she can “outline the rationale for her actions.”

She is being questioned at the behest of Committee Chariman Senator Dean Florez, D-Shafter, who claims that the elimination of the women’s 72-member rowing team is unfair to women and violates federal Title IX provisions which require equality in school athletic programs. “I think we need to better understand why certain teams were targeted for elimination and to ensure that these decisions were made for the right reasons,” wrote Florez in a press statement released today.

But UC Davis already has investigated their move to make sure it is passable per Title IX standards, which makes one wonder why a state hearing on the matter is necessary for anything but stalling the decision.

The school claims in a press release that its compliance director investigated the approve budget and found that it “meets the university’s requirements under Title IX in regard to the ratio between undergraduate enrollment and participation opportunities by gender.  The plan also will meet the requirements under Title IX pertaining to the distribution of grants-in-aid and all other measures of compliance.”

After the cuts, UC Davis will have 14 teams for women and 9 teams for men.

Most of the athletics budget is supported with student fees.   Presumably, a cut in sports means that school officials won’t have to raise student fees school wide, a move that would be much more controversial.  Already this year, the UC Board of Regents increased student fees by $586.   Those fee increases were met with UC-wide protests and condemnation of state government for cutting the higher education budget.

Next year, the Board of Regents will increase to $3,134 per quarter for an increase of 36.5 percent from Fall 2009 fee levels.

The affected students have made it clear that they oppose fee increases, so school leaders make some tough but responsible cuts to school athletics.  Stalling the decision with a moratorium can’t be the best way to proceed.

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  1. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 13 July, 2010, 16:40

    Another reason to completely privatize all universities and colleges.

    — John Seiler

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