How Gov. Brown could ace Napolitano on U.C. tuition

How Gov. Brown could ace Napolitano on U.C. tuition

Janet_NapolitanoAs Chris Reed noted last week, U.C. President Janet Napolitano has another thing coming if she thinks she can push a huge U.C. tuition hike past Gov. Jerry Brown. L.A. Times columnist George Skelton just agreed in a column titled, “Gov. Jerry Brown has plenty of weapons to fight UC’s Janet Napolitano“:

Brown and the Legislature could “buy out” the first year’s tuition hike for about $100 million, UC says.

The governor has offered to increase state funding by 4% — roughly $120 million — each year for the next two if tuition stays flat. He has hiked it 5% each of the last two under a tuition freeze.

But Napolitano says UC needs more — an additional 9% annually — to pay for recent pay increases, rising retirement costs, hiring extra instructors and admitting more students.

Dean WormerFirst, Brown says, UC needs to spend existing dollars more wisely — “reduce the university’s cost structure, while increasing [student] access and quality.” He wants Napolitano to create a committee to study such stuff.

Actually, there’s a lot more Brown could do to get a backdown from the Napolitano and her Dean Wormer imitation.

He has the Legislature on his side. In rejecting the hike, on the Board of Regents Brown was joined by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego; former Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles; Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom; and Superintendent of Public Instruction.

And no doubt legislators back home for the Thanksgiving holiday are getting an earful of complaints from both students and parents.

One thing Brown could take aim at is the U.C. system’s top-heavy administrative waste. Check out this graph, from ReclaimUC. It shows how U.C. now has more administrators than faculty.

University of California administrators

Brown easily could get the Legislature to pass a bill cutting administration slots by 10 percent a year for five years — effectively cutting costs for the whole system at about 5 percent a year, the amount of tuition increase Napolitano is seeking.

Would such cuts reduce the faculty’s prized “academic freedom”? No, because the faculty would be untouched. Only non-academic functionaries clogging the system would be given the axe. In fact, without busybody bureaucrats hanging around, the faculty would have more freedom.

Again, check out the graph. If faculty were cut 10 percent a year for five years — about by half — there still would be more administrators than 20 years ago, when the administrative bloat began. So there still would be enough administrators to fill out payrolls, keep up the buildings and grounds, put fraternities on “double-secret probation.”


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  1. Donkey
    Donkey 24 November, 2014, 17:35

    What an absolute disgusting ratio of management to faculty!! 🙂

    Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 24 November, 2014, 20:30


    No Raggednetti’s……refreshing!

    Reply this comment
  3. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 24 November, 2014, 21:55

    Many of those “useless bureaucrat managers” work at facilities such as the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory or the Los Alamos National Laboratory, but recognizing that basic fact is apparently unrelated to a good anti-government rant.

    Reply this comment
    • John Seiler
      John Seiler Author 25 November, 2014, 08:08

      Numbers, please? And do those at two “National Laboratories” get federal compensation, not state?

      Reply this comment
      • skippingdog
        skippingdog 25 November, 2014, 10:00

        Aren’t you a reporter, John? Livermore is even located inside California, so it shouldn’t be too large a stretch for you to make your own confirmation calls.

        In addition to the national laboratories, UC operates several large hospitals in conjunction with their medical schools. Each of those facilities has thousands of non-faculty healthcare workers who are UC employees.

        Reply this comment
  4. Dawn Urbanek
    Dawn Urbanek 25 November, 2014, 06:05

    Governor Browns new State Education Funding Law- The Local Control Funding Formula intentionally underfunds education so that money can be spent on other things like High Speed Rail- Driver Licenses For Illegal Immigrants, to add a 14th year to an already underfunded public education system and most egregiously to appeal the teacher tenure law. I would like to thank the UC system for bringing up the tuition hikes because it will bring the discussion of inadequate funding to the table. Unless the Base Funding Grant is increased to an amount that provides every student with an “adequate” education the new law is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment because it deprives every student living in a wealthy suburban school district of an adequate education irrespective of their personal income, race or ethnicity. The law discriminates based on wealth.

    For a Parents Perspective on the Local Control Funding Formula see:

    For an example of why there is no accountability under the new law see:

    Sadly Jerry Brown is single handedly destroying California’s Public Education system – a system that educates 1/8 of the students in the United States. The United States will have a very uneducated population in the future.

    Reply this comment
  5. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 25 November, 2014, 08:39

    No one ‘aces’ Sistah Sledge. The gentle seminarian better watch his back.

    Reply this comment
  6. Phillip Moya
    Phillip Moya 26 November, 2014, 08:52

    OK I am just one voter weighing in. I don’t go to an University although I do have a niece attending one. After reading the article I am at a loss why 4% isn’t enough. Considering the inflation rate for the last 12 months was 1.7. I realize it’s important to have highly paid faculty to attract top notch educators. My concern, can our state sustain this runaway expense. After looking at the graph, why can’t Nappolidano cut back on administration? Minimum wage earners would love a 9% raise and so would I being on social security. The truth is that’s not going to happen. Maybe we need to change the formula for retirement. I mean retiring at 60 with 75% of their final pay seems expensive. Adding a year or two would help the system greatly. I’m sure these professionals don’t quit teaching at 60. Look we have 2,100 retires collecting 6 figures in pensions in 2011. If we can cut that slightly we could save tremendous amounts of money. With everybody making cuts it seems to me a 9% raise is ludicrous.

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