Saturday, July 8, 2017

Whose Fault?

UC Press puts out a magazine called "Boom California." It used to come out in print form, but now is web based only. An interesting article, whose title appears above, can be found at:

You'll find a table there. If you do the arithmetic, you will find that by the author's numbers, the state was putting into UC about $16,600 per student (all students: grad and undergrad) in 2010 dollars in 1960, the era of the Master Plan with its promise of free tuition. In 2010, the figure was about $11,100. Now 2010 reflected the impact of the Great Recession. If you assume that the state had basically held its immediate pre-recession dollar contribution to UC constant rather than make the actual recessionary cuts, the per-student figure in 2010 would have been about $15,000.

You can argue about how to adjust the data for inflation. But it is worth noting that between 1960 and 2010, official real compensation per hour (pay and benefits) in the general economy roughly doubled.* UC is basically a labor-cost driven institution. So even if there had not been a Great Recession, the state was not funding UC at anything like the level needed to maintain something like the Master Plan promise. Fiddle with the data all you want; that's the underlying story.

No comments: