UC 411: Interview with UC Regents Chair Gould gives insight into fiscal crisis


The Daily Californian interviewed UC Regents Chair, Russell Gould, about issues surrounding the pension plan, a hot topic at the UC level these days.

Gould stated some key aspects to note including the matter of determining further fee increases because of the pension problem, after taking into account what kind of response the state gives.

He shared some insight on how the state and UC must work together with funding issues such as pointing out that supporting a long-term fee policy must entail a long-term funding commitment from the state.  Gould stated, “This kind of bouncing around from year to year based on what state funding we receive or the kind of economic crisis and state budget crisis we face is a terrible way to set student fees and to set funding for UC.”

Read the full interview and listen to its podcast here: http://www.dailycal.org/article/111368/

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One response to “UC 411: Interview with UC Regents Chair Gould gives insight into fiscal crisis

  1. Chairman Gould is out of touch with Cal’s Chancellor Birgeneau’s leadership, plain and simple. The signs of University of California Berkeley’s relative decline are clear. In 2004, for example, the London-based Times Higher Education ranked UC Berkeley the second leading research university in the world, just behind Harvard; in 2009 that ranking had tumbled to 39th place. Incompetence reigns under Chancellor Birgeneau, Provost Breslauer, Vice-Chancellor Yeary
    University of California Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s eight-year fiscal track record is dismal indeed. He would like to blame the politicians, 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 senior management operates 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 senior management work.

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