Wednesday, May 20, 2009

California Here I Come!!!

By Richard Vedder

Universities were by no means the only governmental agencies with much at stake in yesterday's California election, but they were pretty heavily involved. Mark Yudof of Cal said that drastic reductions would change the character of the University of California system as we know it. Charlie Reed at the Cal State system said similar things, but the voter's attitude is "we need the money more than you," and higher taxes are unacceptable.

Again, for the umpteenth time, I say: Out of adversity comes opportunity. The California system, a pacesetter in higher ed in the 1950s and 1960s, can be again, by reinventing the way we deliver degrees. Maybe we need to vigorously push cost-saving technology, play more with pricing models that would encourage more efficient resource allocation. And maybe California should move to a student-centered approach that gives funds to students, not institutions. Maybe the whole research mission needs to be critically assessed. There are no incentives ordinarily to do these things, but desperation can bring innovation. California is losing native born population to other states, in part because of a punitive high tax/regulatory environment. The voters understand that even if the bureaucrats, including university leaders, do not.


capeman said...

University of California. Used to be a case could be made was the greatest university in the world. Now the Doc wants to "critically assess the research mission". Maybe it will be turn into a super University of Phoenix. A great prospect.

RWW said...

"Now the Doc wants to 'critically assess the research mission'".
What Dr. Vedder actually said was, "Maybe the whole research mission needs to be critically assessed."

And what exactly is wrong with assessing anything for improvement? Is what we have the best we can do? Foe example: your charming comments.

And how do you leap from Dr. Veddr's blog comments to the University of Pheonix? I take it you have a problem with the University of Pheonix.

capeman said...

The charming Doc is the one who likened academic researches to whores and pimps. So I'll let my comment stand, with no compunctions whatsoever.

RWW said...

Interesting argument.