Friday, June 17, 2016

Encouraging a Nasty Habit?

The legislature seems to be getting into a nasty habit of placing conditional admissions funding into the UC budget.

...Over all, the UC system, which will get $3.3 billion from the state, will receive a $125.4 million increase. But to receive an additional $18.5 million, it will need to enroll 2,500 more California residents and place a cap on out-of-state enrollment...*

Note that this follows a similar provision last year which UC accepted, despite concerns about capacity, underfunding of the additional students, etc. 

It appears that UC is encouraging the legislature to continue down this path. Perhaps it looked like good politics to go along last year. UC's prez was selected because she knew the political game. But in game theory, strategy is different between a game played once and a repeat game. We have now "signaled" to the legislature that all it needs to do to control UC admissions targets is to throw a relatively small amount of money at the university. 

Gov. Brown keeps warning about a recession that will come some day - date unknown. When it happens, will UC simply un-enroll students for whom funding has dried up? Or have we adopted a "permanent" level of admissions? Just asking.  

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