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View Diary: Colleges pour money into administration, football, and buildings—but teaching, not so much (192 comments)

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  •  The UC System in CA is shooting itself in the foot (0+ / 0-)

    I love it how universities continue to cut enrollment yet increase tuition costs.  Seriously, doesn't enrollment increase revenue from tuition?  ?????????????????

    Seriously, those bozos at the UC system really just don't get it.  The students have been fighting for years.

    One wonders if the UC system will turn into the CSU system in California.  I hope not.

    •  Some of us went to Cal State schools (1+ / 0-)
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      We didn't want to go to a UC.

      And I have some land in Florida to sell you.

      •  I wanted to go to a UC BADLY (0+ / 0-)

        I was a Cal State school guy myself.  I graduated from SFSU but experiences in the CSUs are worse than in the UC because you feel budget cuts ALL the frickin time.  Literally, in my last semester of my senior year in college (in Spring 2002), I had to deal with possible elimination of printed out syllabi.  Maybe SFSU President Robert Corrigan screwed up things.  I don't know.  I know SFSU has a new president and he seems really awesome.

        That being said, I applied for UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara.  I didn't get accepted into any of them.  Dealing with Cal State Schools is like a downgrade in education in my view.  I thought when I was going to college, at least based on being an honors student in high school, that I'd be competing with students.  At CSUs, I'm dealing with pretty much standard students although a number of them are very intelligent.

        I'm a competitive guy.  I like really competitive schools because I don't like settling for anything less.  My folks say feel grateful I should have a college degree.  Yeah but that doesn't mean that much for me.

        Now being I'm an MBA student, I'm dealing with a whole load of crap at Golden Gate University because even while it's not a public university (it's private, non-profit) and it appears to have a good reputation in the busines community, it has even worse problems than CSUs.  Literally, most clubs on campus are non-existent or have little members.  I try setting up a club on campus and it's like pulling teeth.  That's why I'm working on transferring to the University of San Francisco because at least the school communicates like hell and has tons of resources.  And it doesn't even cost that much.

        •  I graduated from SF State and it is a great (0+ / 0-)

          school.  It's on the level of many Universities in many aspects.  I got my degree in Philosophy and the professors there were the sort you'd find at far more prestigious universities.

          The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:42:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have a lot of respect for SFSU (0+ / 0-)

            You're right.  A lot of very good professors go there.  Among my favorite is Joseph Tuman, who taught the class "Issues in Free Speech."  He's a regular political commentator for KRON and other local news stations.  

            Tuman also ran in the Oakland Mayoral Race, which Jean Quan won and to be frank, Tuman should have been elected Mayor.  I don't think Quan is a great Mayor to be honest.  Oakland seems to be shooting itself in the foot a lot by electing substandard mayors.  If Tuman had become Mayor, he'd have been a breath of fresh air.  He understands difficult issues very well.

    •  not always (1+ / 0-)
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      Granted I haven't worked directly for a school in over 16 years, but the relationship between enrollment and revenue wasn't nearly as straightforward as you would think.  This was a liberal arts college with FTE in the 2000-2300 range.  You have to consider how much proprietary aid was being given (effectively tuition discounts) to get a class of X students.  So you end up with some of those students actually contributing substantially less than others towards revenue, often not even covering the direct costs of the student.

      Then consider retention.  When you are struggling to get those students, you end up with students that will only make it a semester or two and then drop out.  Where I went to school, the incoming class after mine had so many students flunk out after the first year that that class was going to be a net loss for the following 4 years (it was a 5 year program).

      Another problem with small schools is looking at the incremental costs of adding students.  With increased students, you need to offer more sections.  If you are only adding a few students, the cost of those extra sections can outweigh the revenue they bring in.

      It is quite common in schools of this size that the net for a given class would be better if some number of the initial students were rejected, as long as you could be very selective about who was rejected.

      Even 16 years ago faculty was always complaining about the "bloated" administration, but I can tell you that over those 6 years, the administration shrank even as the amount of work having to get done increased.

      Government can't restrict free speech, but corporations can? WTF

      by kyoders on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:41:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a general overview (0+ / 0-)

        I've been living in the Bay Area, California my entire life and I've witnessed a lot of protests over cuts in education and enrollment.  There's more than that.  Faculty and deans are having to work with available resources and can't seem to get enough resources.  If say you are talking about CSU colleges in California, they are under the nose.  For community colleges, they are in a crisis as far as funding although quite a number of classes still exist.  The problem is, the UC and CSU systems have been dealing with this crap for years and students and faculty are really tired of it.

        Something you need to consider is this:  The UC and CSU systems are public universities, which means they depend on a lot of funding coming from the State of California's government.  Right now, the UC and CSU systems are hurting because the CA State Government is in a budget crunch.  They've been in a budget crunch since the early 21st century so that's over 10 years.  When the Great Recession happened, that put UC and CSU systems in a bind.  I visited a career adviser at SFSU, where I finished my BA in Cinema Studies, back in spring of 2009.  I met with her at least a couple of times and she really seemed to feel under the gun, even though she was very helpful in guiding me in the right direction career wise.  The reason for this was that SFSU was cutting classes and a whole host of other things just to balance the budget.  Of course, it is a reputable university in the Bay Area but still, it relies on public funds.  Colleges in the Bay Area like USF and Saint Mary's don't deal with this problem because they are private universities and have more flexibility as far as funding.

        One thing that you didn't mention is the new development of online programs.  Those cut costs significantly.  Golden Gate University and UC Berkeley are emphasizing this a lot so with online programs, there's no end to the number of students that can enroll in say the UC system so long as they rely on the online system.  Plus, you can also download syllabi in online classrooms and textbooks on online sites.  This would save a TON of pressure off the UC system because then, at least students could take their courses without worrying of the classes being booked.  When you're doing classes online, you don't deal with the limitation issue of the number of courses available.  Class size may be limited of course but that's never an issue.  Only issues apply to students who want in-person classes.

    •  The UC System is comprised of finishing schools (1+ / 0-)
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      for rich foreigners, mostly Asian.

      Without state support, this is how the UC system stays afloat. It's no secret.

      A few poor Americans are allowed in to make everyone feel good.

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