Post Academic

Why Are UC Schools Broke? Maybe Because They Deserve to Be

Posted in Broke-Ass Schools by Caroline Roberts on April 5, 2010
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After the March 4 student protests, some people may have been on the side of the University of California. Even with the fee hikes, the UC would still be cheaper than private schools, and the UC really needs that money to maintain the same high level of service. Right?

Nah. In UCLA’s case at least, they just want to spruce up a basketball court. The LA Times reports that UCLA is taking fees students thought were going toward one line item and putting the money toward a renovation of Pauley Pavilion, the basketball arena:

In 2006, administrators launched a campaign to raise $100 million from private contributors to pay for the $185-million upgrade, which includes cushier seats, a high-definition scoreboard and expanded locker rooms. But when the fundraising effort fell victim to the recession, administrators changed the finance plan to include $25 million from student fees.

Where will those fees come from? Oh, the students won’t mind chipping in, will they?

Most of the student money, $15 million, will come from fees approved by a student referendum in 2000 to maintain two older campus buildings that house gyms and student centers. The remaining $10 million had been set aside for seismic repair of student facilities.

If the students approved a fee hike to upgrade buildings other than Pauley Pavilion, then the money should go to the original upgrades. And besides, don’t universities pay their chancellors big money to raise funds? Maybe administrators should do their jobs instead of dipping into the student kitty.

Now that universities have decided to become businesses, they need to be run like businesses. If the administrators needed money for Pauley Pavilion so badly, they should have held a referendum on whether or not making Pauley Pavilion cushier is more important than seismic repair. (Uh, what’s more important than seismic repair in Southern California?)

Or, maybe the students should think of themselves as shareholders. Shareholders of any business would band together to vote out leaders who can’t seem to lead.

State universities tap student fees for unintended projects [Los Angeles Times]

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