Monday, December 10, 2012

Rebenching: UCLA Academic Senate Prefers More Rather than Less

The benches may be old but we like them.
The "rebenching" issue has resurfaced.  Basically, what is at stake is the formula by which UC money is divided up among the campuses.  The Daily Bruin today reviews the issue and the view of the UCLA Academic Senate:

The response states that the Senate is “adamantly opposed” to the current proposal – known as rebenching – and outlines the potentially negative impacts it could have on the UCLA campus...
...Rebenching aims to equalize funding per student across all of the UC campuses by distributing state funds to each campus based on set student enrollment targets.  The goal of rebenching is to increase state funds that are allocated to each UC student up to UCLA’s level of funding over the next six years. Prior to rebenching, UCLA received the highest amount of state money per student, at $6,413...
We have blogged about this issue before.  There are arguments that the new formula will phase in so that no campus loses anything in some nominal terms.  Fact is, however, that in any given year - now or ever - there is a fixed budget pie to be allocated.  And despite Prop 30, UC and UCLA remain in a constrained budget environment and will remain in that environment going forward.  If the allocation formula is changed as proposed, UCLA will get less than it otherwise would have gotten.  Beneath all the rhetoric about "fairness," that is the issue.  Getting more in the future always looks fair to those who will benefit.  And it looks unfair to those who will get less.  It really isn't more complicated.
Yours truly suspects that whether it is formalized or not, a process in which UCLA gets less will lead to UCLA powers-that-be, and ultimately the campus Academic Senate, pushing for more autonomy from UC, including on tuition.
Remember, no one writes songs about the virtues of "Less."  To be Frank, "More" is better:

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