Sunday, May 13, 2012

Giving Credit Where it is Due?

As readers of this blog will know, UC-Berkeley and UC-San Francisco have been calling for more autonomy from the overall UC system, including the right to set tuition at the campus level.  (UCLA has been strangely silent about the proposal, pro or con. Can there really be no opinion on this matter in Murphy Hall?)  Yours truly somehow missed the item below from May 3:

Ratings agency Moody's Investors Service applauded a new University of California, Berkeley proposal to give each UC campus more autonomy, particularly when it comes to setting tuition rates. Because its seats are so coveted, Berkeley has wanted to charge higher tuition and admit more out-of-state students than other campuses. The school's Center for Studies in Higher Education released a report last month that suggests giving the system's 10 schools greater ability to set policies that fit the "uniqueness of individual campuses." …  Moody's said the latest proposal "would be a credit positive for UC because the system's leading campuses could better utilize their market potential to generate new student revenues and offset continuing reductions in state support." The ratings agency said the UC system has "considerable untapped pricing power."

Readers of this blog will also know that the state in various ways has been borrowing against UC’s credit card, because UC has a better rating than the state.
And there is this from a write-up today in the Sacramento Bee about tomorrow’s release of the May Revise state budget proposal by the governor and the governor’s video message yesterday (see yesterday’s blog):

Brown's… announcement [of less revenue coming in than forecast] makes it all the more likely that the University of California will raise tuition for next school year. This week, UC officials said they would need $125 million more than Brown gave them in the January budget to avoid a 6 percent tuition hike. The governor's budget is expected to move in the opposite direction, with another higher education cut, one source said.

Full story at: (But note that this article refers to what Brown called a budget “hole” as a “deficit.”  Neither term is accurate.  It is likely that Brown’s “hole” is the sum of a projected deficit from this year, a projected workload deficit for next year and the negative balance estimated in the general fund, thus mixing stocks and flows and time periods.)
In any event, Moody’s bond rating service clearly likes the idea of campus autonomy with the campuses more able to raise tuition going their way:

And by the way, the original French song from which the melody, but not the lyrics, of "My Way" were taken has words that are more or less opposite in spirit from the American version and decidedly depressing.  See the link below for a translation:

Perhaps that suggests there is a downside to every grand concept. As always, this blog is fair and balanced; you decide:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Charging higher tuition to Californians is not the answer to University of California financial crisis.
UC Berkeley now more expensive than Harvard.