Monday, June 22, 2015

Seeing What Isn't There

It's quite possible to look at the design on the right and see what isn't there. Is there really a downward pointing triangle, for example? Or an upward pointing triangle?

An email from UC prez Napolitano analyzes the legislature's budget for 2015-16 as follows:

...By adopting the provisions of the funding framework agreed to by the Governor and the University, the budget approved by the Legislature puts UC in a strong financial position that provides the University with predictable and stable support for the next four years and offers students and their families the certainty to confidently budget for the costs of a UC education.

The budget agreement also provides $25 million for undergraduate resident enrollment growth at UC. This funding could be a substantial first step toward achieving UC’s goal of enrolling almost 10,000 new California undergraduate and graduate students over four years, beginning in the 2016-17 academic year.  We are grateful that the Legislature and the Governor share our goal of enrolling more California students.  We look forward to analyzing the provisions accompanying this funding over the coming months and continuing conversations with the Legislature and the Governor about enrollment growth...

We can all understand the ambiguity of the second paragraph since the legislature's understanding of when the enrollment growth might occur or can occur seems to be different from UC's. So maybe the discrepancy can be worked out if it can be said that conversations are "continuing." On the other hand, the pension piece of the Committee of Two deal involved a multi-year commitment of state funds for the UC pension in exchange for certain changes we have discussed in prior posts. But what the legislature proposes is a one-year contribution with an explicit statement that the rest of the money in the future is not obligated and may not appear. It also indicates that despite the lack of commitment of future funding, UC should quickly (hastily?) develop pension changes and put them into effect before even the first year's money will flow. That is not the "funding framework" of the Committee of Two.

It takes a great act of will to see a multi-year deal when it's not being provided. Guess you just have to believe:

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