Inside Higher Ed has a good piece today describing the effect that the abysmal California economy is having on public higher education in the state. The multi-billion dollar state deficit has preceded severe cuts in higher education subsidies, forcing the state's institutions to make decisions on where to make budget cuts in order to weather the storm.
Several UC administrators described a dysfunctional model as the underlying problem that has led to the current woes. Among them is UC Davis vice chancellor Stan Nosek, who recommends that his own position be eliminated and himself voted against a proposed tax hike referendum that would have provided continuity of a public revenue stream to the state's institutions, stating:
“I didn’t vote for any one of those propositions and didn’t intend to, because it would continue the dysfunction."Nosek appears to support a waning of public higher ed subsidies, stating:
“I certainly believe we have been part of the problem as far as leadership in higher education at UC, because we have allowed the political process to have too much influence on what we do in operating the university"Serious consideration is being given to reforming higher education in California, which has traditionally served as a trend setter in the United States. If the past is a good predictor of the future, then the dire situation in California could mean that serious reform is to come in the rest of the U.S. higher ed establishment. We should definitely keep a close watch on this saga as it unfolds.