Thursday, February 19, 2015

Go Figure

UC has released a report on per-student costs, summarized on the chart above. Apart from general puff, the report goes into the methodology used to divide up spending. As has been noted on this blog before, there is inevitably much arbitrariness in any such division. Is the library for teaching or research or service? The electric bill? The phone bill? Mail delivery? Landscaping? Administrator salaries? Can you precisely divide graduate education from undergraduate when grad students are employed as TAs in undergrad courses? Students are engaged in research projects. Is that engagement teaching or research? Etc., etc. Actually, the legislature really isn't hung up on the figures and methodology. It is standard practice nowadays to say that more "transparency" is needed when you don't like something (like tuition increases, for example). So now the legislature has a set of numbers. Will they be seen as transparent enough? Probably not. But at the moment, what the legislature really wants is not lessons in accounting or more charts and graphs. It wants more of a role in the budget/tuition negotiations currently underway between the governor and Napolitano.

You can find the report at

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