Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Don't Look for Holiday Cheer from the Washington Post

The Washington Post has looked west of late:

UC-Berkeley and other ‘public Ivies’ in fiscal peril

Daniel de Vise, Dec. 26, 2011, Washington Post

Across the nation, a historic collapse in state funding for higher education threatens to diminish the stature of premier public universities and erode their mission as engines of upward social mobility.  At the University of Virginia, state support has dwindled in two decades from 26 percent of the operating budget to 7 percent. At the University of Michigan, it has declined from 48 percent to 17 percent.  Not even the nation’s finest public university is immune. The University of California at Berkeley — birthplace of the free-speech movement, home to nine living Nobel laureates — subsists now in perpetual austerity. Star faculty take mandatory furloughs. Classes grow perceptibly larger each year. Roofs leak; e-mail crashes. One employee mows the entire campus. Wastebaskets are emptied once a week. Some professors lack telephones…

Tuition costs surging

In academia, there is particular concern for the sector leaders known as “public Ivies.”  These top public universities (a group that includes Berkeley, UCLA and the universities of Michigan, North Carolina and Virginia) educate many more students than their Ivy League counterparts. Berkeley alone serves roughly the same number of low-income students — measured in federal Pell grant data — as the Ivies do together…

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