Friday, January 2, 2015

Damage Control Needed

Overheard at UC's headquarters
The LA Times yesterday ran one of those standard New Year's opinion pieces about predictions for 2015.  Various personalities were asked to venture forecasts on different topics.  One of the contributors was former UC-Berkeley chancellor Birgeneau who proceeded to prognosticate about how UC prez Napolitano would eventually compromise with Gov. Brown on the tuition/state funding issue. For example, he said that instead of the higher tuition increase she asked for, she would ultimately accept 3%/annum. 

In a negotiation, you don't bargain yourself down.  Birgeneau was probably prognosticating on his own behalf. but Governor & Company are likely to view him - since he is a former chancellor - as speaking for UC.  So his prognostication of what might happen could easily be taken as a scaled-back ceiling on what UC would accept, with a compromise being less.

The governor will be revealing his budget proposal next week which presumably will contain his response to UC.  That proposal is already baked and won't change because of the Birgeneau piece.  But the eventual outcome could change as a result of that piece, and not for the better.

You can find the LA Times' invited prognostications, including those of Birgeneau, at

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