This was originally posted in Eagle Rising.
Another Tuition Hike Set to take Place
University of California students are in an uproar over the latest round of tuition hikes about to be set in place. These hikes were approved by the UC Regents last week as Governor Jerry Brown was one of two dissenting votes. The increase amounts to a 5% hike each year for five years. In response, there have been student protests on most UC campuses and a few cases of minor vandalism.
One of the reasons UC President Janet Napolitano is using as justification is the refusal of Brown to increase the public funding from state tax payers.
While I, as an adjunct teacher at the UC Irvine Extension, am not often sympathetic to most forms of student protests, I am less sympathetic to figures like Napolitano, who is a political hack with no business running a university. If her previous performance as DHS chief is any indication, she will probably run the University into the ground as well. In fact, there are some aspects of this issue that the students seem to be overlooking.
A few years ago at a staff meeting, I was informed that the University of California was going to be increasing its percentage of international students since they pay three times the tuition of in-state students. At that time, the rough numbers were $27,000 for out-of state residents and $9,000 for in-state. "Revenue enhancement' was the term I believe was being used. Now, with Napolitano in charge, she is committed to providing benefits for illegal alien students, who should, of course, considers "Dreamers". While, in theory, many of these were brought here as children by their parents and have gone through our school system, the question must be asked if extending benefits to them will result in hurting legal California state residents and US citizen students. At any rate, it appears that those who are being left out of the equation of all of this are California residents whose own children will find fewer slots in the UC system and may wind up having to go out of state and pay-you guessed it-out of state tuition. Is this fair to the families who are paying state taxes to support the University in the first place?
In addition, does anyone believe that the University isn't top heavy with administrative positions? Consider that all these deans, assistant deans, vice chancellors etc. are making 6-figure salaries. As a firm believer in capitalism, I begrudge nobody making a nice salary, but creating a bureaucracy like this sometimes merits a second look when money gets tight.
Perhaps, most importantly, if money is an issue, the time has long since passed when any university needs to consider the usefulness of all these silly subjects being taught at the university level. In that I include gender studies, gay, lesbian, transgender studies, and ethnic studies, all of which are nothing more than leftist, ethnocentric or chauvinistic departments devoted to glorifying one's own group and putting down what is perceived as the "other side", generally speaking, white male, Christian, Western, heterosexual society. The divisiveness of these studies cannot be overstated. In addition, one who graduates with a degree in these studies is unqualified to do anything but teach them to the next generation of suckers. To get rid of these departments altogether would save billions of dollars and improve education as well. I don't object to classes on these topics being taught, but entire departments? No way.
Another area that needs a close look is Middle East studies. Not that it couldn't merit a department if it were being seriously studied on an even-handed and scholarly basis. Unfortunately, everywhere you look, these departments (many of which have been established by Saudi money) are staffed by anti-Israel zealots, whether of Arab descent or not. Pro-Israel teachers need not apply. These departments usually are little more than hotbeds of pro-Arab, anti-West, and anti-Israeli agitation.
The University of California is facing many serious problems, one of which is money. The fact that Janet Napolitano is in charge of the ship is not encouraging.