Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Future Lies Ahead: Final UCOF Report

Press release from UCOP issued yesterday at:

UC Commission on the Future (UCOF) final report released

Date: 2010-12-06

The final report of the University of California Commission on the Future, convened last year to map out strategies to preserve excellence and access through the state fiscal crisis and beyond, was unveiled today (Monday, Dec. 6).

The 20 recommendations endorsed by the commission address five broad categories: teaching and curriculum, undergraduate enrollment and access, research and graduate education, fiscal discipline and administrative reform, and public education and advocacy.

The commission also cited contingency actions that, if the fiscal situation worsens, might be required to sustain a world-class institution crucial to the economic and cultural health of California. The full report, to be presented to UC Regents at a special meeting Dec. 13, is available online.

Some of the endorsed initiatives already are under way — such as an online education pilot project, streamlined pathways for transfer students and administrative initiatives to achieve efficiencies and significant cost savings. Other proposals call for improving time-to-degree and increasing nonresident undergraduate enrollment; strengthening the research infrastructure and graduate student involvement; increasing cost recovery from federal grants and contracts and revamping fundraising efforts; and expanding public education and advocacy.

Though not endorsed by the commission, recommendations for a multi-year tuition schedule and differential tuition by campus are worthy, at this time, of additional study, according to the report. In addition, contingency recommendations that the commission said might be necessary to protect the university's mission and goals include curtailing enrollment, reducing the faculty and staff work force, and reducing financial aid support.

The Board of Regents, the governing body charged with setting policy or delegating responsibility for implementation, will be asked to endorse the principles of the final report at its Dec. 13 meeting. For each recommendation, there are specific assignments, deadlines and follow-up reports. Most of the recommendations — involving the academic realms of instruction, curriculum, academic personnel and research — cannot become fully effective without the active engagement of the Academic Council, divisional senates and faculty committees.

The UC Commission on the Future was created in July 2009 by Board of Regents Chairman Russell Gould, with UC President Mark G. Yudof serving as co-chair. Five working groups contributed substantially to the recommendations; they were composed of faculty, students, staff, alumni and administrators from all 10 UC campuses, as well as regents and individuals from business and labor organizations.

The 50+ page report is at

A quick scan suggests no surprises from earlier versions. However, you might look at page 27 where certain contingent recommendations are listed - not as things the Commission recommends, but as things that might have to be considered if dire financial conditions continue. (Page 27 of the report; not pdf page 27)

There is a write-up on the report in the Sacramento Bee at

I am always a bit leery of attempts to peer into the future:

Update: A newspaper editorial supporting the recommendations of UCOF is at

No comments: