Campus 101: UCSD celebrates its 50th anniversary

The UCSD community celebrated the 50th anniversary of the institution’s founding on Thursday with music, dance, videos and a list of speakers. The faculty and students participated through attending and celebrating the growth and accomplishments of the university over the years.  Within the last 50 years, UCSD has gained a prominent reputation and has become a “distinctive, world-class university”. However, along with the celebrations, came a protest from over 75 students who spoke out against the recent 8% fee increase.  The students at UCSD expressed their struggles in being able to continue their education in such a distinctive university, similar to the experiences of students all across the UC and Cal State system, through carrying protests throughout the event and hoping to have their voices heard on a day celebrating the education and the growth of their university.

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One response to “Campus 101: UCSD celebrates its 50th anniversary

  1. Fee hike does not address the management deficiencies at UC Berkeley. Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s eight-year fiscal track record is dismal indeed. He would like to blame the politicians in Sacramento, since they stopped giving him every dollar he has asked for, and the state legislators do share some responsibility for the financial crisis. But not in the sense he means.
    A competent chancellor would have been on top of identifying inefficiencies in the system and then crafting a plan to fix them. Competent oversight by the Board of Regents and the legislature would have required him to provide data on problems and on what steps he was taking to solve them. Instead, every year Birgeneau would request a budget increase, the regents would agree to it, and the legislature would provide. The hard questions were avoided by all concerned, and the problems just piled up to $150 million of inefficiencies….until there was no money left.
    It’s not that Birgeneau was unaware that there were, in fact, waste and inefficiencies in the system. Faculty and staff have raised issues with senior management, but when they failed to see relevant action taken, they stopped. Finally, Birgeneau engaged some expensive ($3 million) consultants, Bain & Company, to tell him what he should have been able to find out from the bright, engaged people in his own organization.
    In short, there is plenty of blame to go around. But you never want a serious crisis to go to waste. An opportunity now exists for the UC president, Board of Regents, and California legislators to jolt UC Berkeley back to life, applying some simple check-and-balance management principles. Increasing the budget is not enough; transforming senior management is necessary. The faculty, Academic Senate, Cal. Alumni, financial donors, benefactors await the transformation.
    The author, who has 35 years’ consulting experience, has taught at University of California Berkeley, where he was able to observe the culture and the way the senior management operates.

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