The Future of California’s Colleges

Mary O. Furner has a good article about the possible decline of California’s, once great, higher education system.

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28 Responses to “The Future of California’s Colleges”


  1. 1 Jessie Maguire July 15, 2009 at 3:20 PM

    In the past California Universities have been some of the best schools in the country, but recently they have begun to slip. Admission rates have dropped while tuition rates have increased, causing students to turn away. In an effort to make the best of hard economic times universities have cut funding taking away too many seats in core classes causing students to fall behind. Why would a student attend a university in California if they cannot get into any classes? Cutting classes is an easy way out for universities that needs to be and should be a last resort. Students who pay their full tuition should not be the ones to suffer. Instead of playing the blame game California universities need to step up and take control of their own systems.

  2. 2 Wen-Li Chan July 15, 2009 at 5:03 PM

    Unfortunately because of this budget deficit and the residents’ refusal to the tax raise, the state has to cut funding on something and unfortunately education is one of them. Nobody is happy about his part being cut, but what else can the state do to handle this crisis?
    Even though I have my fair share of anger about this money situation, I understand that the state doesn’t have a lot of options. Will the students suffer from this funding cut? We don’t know yet. I believe that if those students really want to learn, they will find their ways to learn. Students will to learn is more important than anything and is irrelevant to this budget cut.

  3. 3 Abby July 15, 2009 at 6:01 PM

    @ Wen Li: “Students’ will to learn” is the most relevant topic in this budget cut. We have a strong desire to learn, but the means to do so in the state of California is being jeopardized.

    I am regularly enrolled at UCLA, where my honors program priority enrollment (a MAJOR perk!) was cut spring quarter, some graduation requirements (i.e., seminars, writing classes) were dropped, and less classes were offered per quarter. So, yes, students are being affected right from the beginning. And I am in summer school at UC Berkeley, where I saw quite a protest yesterday…

    The short-term solution is to cut UC faculty salaries. This doesn’t seem to hurt the students now, but when higher-paying universities (private) entice top UC professors and researchers, the overall quality of the UC system will inevitably decline.

    So, there’s definitely no easy solution to lack of funding in CA’s higher education. Regardless of where the cuts or taxes are made, the trickle down will inevitably affect the students at some level.

  4. 4 Dave Crider July 16, 2009 at 7:16 AM

    I came here from Michigan kind of in the middle of all of this but my understanding is they tried to pass a tax increase which was voted down by the people, that education was part of. With education being a very important part of our society they need to come up with another tax increase that is education ONLY. Do not put all the other fluff in there that each Representative wants covered, just education and see if the people would pass that.

  5. 5 James Dugger July 16, 2009 at 2:41 PM

    I think we’re going to see the end of socialized education in the next few years. It’s kind of ironic being they are working on “Socialized Medicine” in congress.

  6. 6 Amanda Smith July 17, 2009 at 3:29 PM

    It is very true that less and less are being accepted to UC’s now-a-days. Some had even told me not to even bother applying to some schools because they were having a freeze on accepting transfers. Many of my friends, and myself, are attending a CSU next year…one of the reasons being that we couldnt get into any UC’s. I wanted to go to a CSU anyway because less cuts(although there are still plenty occuring) seem to be affecting the CSU systems.
    This article also seemed to focus a lot on the salaries of the staff. I understand why they would be upset about a salary cut; I would if it were me. But California has one of the lowest tuition prices with some of the highest paid professors in the whole nation. Mabybe that is part of the problem. The government is not spending the education’s money on the right things.

  7. 7 Jessica Schimke July 17, 2009 at 10:07 PM

    This is a very disturbing situation. Our once glorious educational reputation is being flushed down the toilet like some wad of dirty tissue. It seems as though when times get tough and money gets tight, education is one of the first things to get cut. People aren’t realizing that educating our citizens is the one thing that needs to survive chaotic times. We need people to be encouraged and excited about going to college! Instead, they are looking at a massive bill they will only be able to pay off at an unknown time in the future. And our wonderful professors are being stripped of their well deserving salaries. We need to pull our heads out of our asses and realize that education cannot be given the cold shoulder.

  8. 8 Heather July 18, 2009 at 2:16 PM

    It is kind of ironic that making cuts in the UC system will supposedly help out the economy in the long run.In the end it will not only be a detriment to college students and potential college students, but to California’s economy as a whole. There will be a shortage in educated, college graduates, higher unemployment rates with the staff and faculty cuts, less reasonable opportunities in terms of college education. And the raising rates and detrimental effects of cuts don’t end with the UC’s; CSUs are accepting less and less students, out of state schools have insanely high out of state tuition. As a college student, there is no worse deterrent to seek a education then the government simply saying only a select few elite with the means and money can have an education

  9. 9 Luke July 19, 2009 at 11:53 AM

    I like the way you write! Nice blog.

  10. 10 felicia hall July 20, 2009 at 12:37 PM

    I agree with Heather in regards to letting go of faculty and raising tuition/fees is not going to solve the economic problems California is and has been facing. With me being a student at a CSU I have experienced the drawbacks to what our Government has changed. Within just 2 semesters fees have increased tremendously, as well as many classes have been cut. The article states that we need to demand that our Governor & Legislature get the houses of Government in order. And I totally agree because I do feel like our last 2 Governor’s have been placed in situations that even Superman couldn’t surpass, because there is only so much they can do without someone telling them no. I just hope that I can complete my last year of undergrad at my current CSU without having to stop due to finances or scheduling.

  11. 11 KENDALL HOXSEY July 23, 2009 at 8:19 AM

    Even though the UC system made education affordable for many people many things were wrong. First off the salaries were far too much and the other problem was that the admissions departments would choose the “worthy student” often based on ethnicity. A cousin of mine was the student body president of his high school, was on the honor roll, and made a decent score on his SATs. But he was waitlisted to UC Davis, whereas his friend, who is hispanic was accepted. When asking one of the admissions couselors why he had been waitlisted, they said that his mother had gone to college which lowered his chances to get accepted. Versus another student whose mother did not go to college is placed higher on the list for acceptances. I think that is outrageous. College is meant to help people learn not make them ashamed of their family’s background even if they had some advantages growing up. A ‘worthy student’ is the one who works hard in school, does alright on the SAT, participates in extra-curricular activities, and volunteers to help others.
    It is an unfortunate thing that the best educations have to be the most expensive. But perhaps if the CA legislature had not made 85% of the budget finances set for welfare and representative’s retirement funds or state employee vehicles perhaps we might not be in this mess.

  12. 12 Jennifer Wienecke-Friedman July 23, 2009 at 1:02 PM

    As our text for this class points out in chapter 7, educating a country’s citizens is important to its economic growth, but when a country is prosperous it is less concerned with growing larger. I suppose California is following this pattern. Perhaps we will be more concerned with educating our residents when we are no longer the eighth largest economy in the world.

  13. 13 Joseph Garcia July 23, 2009 at 7:21 PM

    In the Cal State I attend, these budget cuts have affected the whole school big time. I believe the effect could have been lessened if the school didn’t spend millions on the new pool. What’s more important? A new recreation center or teachers? Newer teachers aren’t getting their contracts renewed, and classes are only getting bigger. Cal Poly prides itself on its small class sizes, yet in the looming economic downturn, they spent it on something not needed.

  14. 14 Kit t Kat July 24, 2009 at 10:56 AM

    With increase costs for school, students who would have normally attended will not. How is that helping society if human capital does not increase. It’s not. Human capital makes living standards and productivity go up. With higher school fees, some students won’t go and they will spend their time doing nothing prodcutive and wasting their skill. With hiring freezes and reduced budgets and fewer teachers, larger class sizes, fewer classes and longer times to graduation, students will have a jacked up education which will affect them getting a high pay job and may result in them doing unlawful activities to meet their basic needs. This jacked up education not on hinders some students from attending school, but those who do attend will suffer and the larger amounts of money they spend on their education will be of poor quality. The dysfunctional state Legislature and deeply flawed tax structure needs to be reworked so faculty and others won’t have to suffer and the budget crisis will get better.

  15. 15 Sanamjit Bains July 24, 2009 at 11:38 AM

    The coast of education needs to lowered, for the growth of the economy in the near future, so that we become self sufficient and don’t out source labour. Having more skilled labour force with in our country will yield the same benefit of low cost of labour and productivity that our industries look for by out sourcing.

  16. 16 Evangelina Alvarez July 25, 2009 at 2:33 PM

    Well indeed we caused these cuts. We should have prevented it, legislation should have taken care of the vote because who would truthfully vote to increase taxes? Especially those who aren’t in school and don’t see the harm it is causing us. From my experience, teachers who are dedicated to the education of their students stick around, and some really hang in there. As for students I do agree that those who want to be there will incur the costs and take the measures necessary to get their classes. How are we going to solve this problem, get involved in groups like ASB and talk to the your representatives. Kind of like the March in March, we spoke out and thats the only way for us to be heard.

  17. 17 Lauren Swartz July 27, 2009 at 8:23 AM

    The bottom line is our political parties operate on completely disparate planes of reality- fiscal and social conservatives firmly believe in “trickle down” economics and the elimination or reduction of state run programs and the taxes that fuel them. Progressives tend to see the taxes and government programs as an investment to help build the economy from the ground up. Television and radio pundits like Lee Rodgers and Mark Levin build their programs on deepening the divide between the two groups and California state politicians, in an attempt to pander to their increasingly polarized bases, have refused to comprimise intellegently. Clearly SOME programs need to be cut, others improved , SOME taxes raised, others potentially reduced. It makes sense to reasonable California citizens but out politicians prefer to pontificate and pander.

  18. 18 Jessica Tsai August 2, 2009 at 4:15 PM

    The California education budget cuts have indeed been a distressing issue for both myself and all of my fellow students. I am currently enrolled at UC Berkeley and the budget cuts have affected every perspective of my education. Courses that I have planned to take semesters beforehand are no longer offered due to the budget cuts and for many courses students are no longer able to see what professor will be teaching the course since the university has likewise not confirmed staff and faculty issues. Moreover, as treasurer of the public health club at Cal, we receive funds from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health annually but as a result of the budget cuts we need to fill out extensive paperwork in order to get fewer funds than before. Overall, the effects of the recession are taking a toll on the quality of education offered at universities, it is much harder to plan for the future when requirements to graduate cannot be fulfilled due to lack of courses offered.

  19. 19 Stacey Smarker August 3, 2009 at 10:38 AM

    I personally do not think that cutting our teachers and faculity and raising tuition will solve this large problem. If they look at what they have done, we are now going to have larger classes, fewer teachers, and a sky rocketing amount of money to pay to got to school. I heard that class sizes are going up t0 40 students or more which makes me think how can these teachers handel that many students and their needs. They can’t! The legislation needs to sit down and fruiger out how to make a compromise with the state so we are not losing out on our education, teachers and can hang in there while we are going through the budget crisis.

  20. 20 Alejandro Cortez August 3, 2009 at 2:19 PM

    As a full-time student at UC Davis during the regular school year I can attest to the budget cuts that loom heavy over the UC system. I agree with Abby that a student’s will to learn is the most relative topic in the budget cuts. I have seen tuition rise and with Cal Grant system in disarray, I am worried that I might not be able to continue my education. I have moved home for the summer, taken classes at Napa Valley community college, found a summer job, all so that I can save as much money as possible. Unfortunately, some of my friends are not as lucky and have had a hard time finding summer jobs and are not sure how they will afford another year of school. I also agree with Dave that we need a tax increase for education only!!! I believe that this will help alleviate some of the budget woes California’s UC system is experiencing.

  21. 21 Shannon Lackey August 4, 2009 at 12:09 AM

    I wish universities could be recession proof… but as far fetched as it is public school seems to be taking the hardest blow in budget cuts, maybe because I am student I see it more than the people in congress who sign the budget but it is really bad this time. I am not able to attend school this spring because of the system not allowing any new admissions until fall. People willing to put themselves into thousands of dollars worth of debt just to further their education should have to obtain more debt because their classes are not available and they have to attend for a longer period of time. I think the schooling system that has been prized for so long of being part of the best is in jeopardy of ruining their reputation and it will be hard to get back. Also the cost of attending is so high it is turning me on to private school due to classroom size, availability and even though it is more expensive, I feel the state schools are not far behind with their constant and high increases that have been occuring rather frequently over the last couple of years.

  22. 22 Nick Rood August 4, 2009 at 12:36 PM

    Coming from a UC system a few years back, I remember the increase in tuition happening on an annual basis. Before the economic downturn, these increases were to improve class sizes, faculty salaries, and other benifits. Even with budget cuts, it doesn’t seem that the educational value has to be compromised as much as everyone fears. It is time to tighten the belt and focus on the necesities until times get better. I know a lot of luxeries go into the UC System, a great education only a part of them. I do not believe education should be compromised by budget cuts in general, but there are options for the Universities to maintain the prominent status.

  23. 23 Michael Marasigan August 5, 2009 at 12:12 AM

    My problem with budget cuts regarding education is seen in my personal struggle to afford going to a University. I attended UC Davis for two years and in the first year I was okay because the Cal Grant program was still in effect then. My second year was harder because of the cuts in educational funding. I really struggled to afford the tuition and my grades suffered because of it. As seen in some of the other replies, there are others who are even having a hard time finding room in classes. With the cuts and recession, it is getting harder to justify attending public universities.

  24. 24 Sara Tirado August 5, 2009 at 11:31 AM

    I am not shocked; however, I am hoping I will be able to afford to finish my education and be able to apply to the school of my dreams. I am not sure if California is aware of the devastating effect this is going to have on future students. I see NVC is up on enrollment but offering less classes in the Fall. The enrollment has increased due to the UC’s not taking freshmen students. The worst part of this is community colleges were not included in the stimulus.

  25. 25 Patrick Powers August 6, 2009 at 3:47 PM

    The biggest problem about the UC System is that there are too many of them. Coming from UCSC, the worst ones and the ones that seem pointless to me is UC Merced. 2 years ago, I got something in the mail basically saying that I would be accepted to UC Merced if I applied. Well UC Merced is the newest UC, and stereotyped for having the worst (grade-point wise) students of all UCs. It seems that the UC system wanted to make more money so they make a UC Merced to take regular community college students and make them pay a UC price. But now it has backfired with the UC system now having to cut all sort of funds. There is no reason UC Merced should be existing.

  26. 26 Maricar De Los Reyes August 6, 2009 at 4:05 PM

    Its frightening enough to know that getting into UC is jeopardized. But what is even more frightening, is the fact that many, many desiring students will not be able to get the education they want at the desired time. What will that do for the state, and for the county? Less educated people, means less qualified people for certain jobs. Its hard enough now to get a decent job without a college degree. How much is the country going to suffer when many will be uneducated. Education is very vital to the survival of a civilization. Its already hard enough to pay for school now, and with the cuts on admission, the competition is even harder. It is such a scary thought for me, since I’m not originally from California. I am now a resident, but getting funds is twice as difficult for me because my parents are Texan residents.

  27. 27 Hailey Cook August 6, 2009 at 8:29 PM

    This is probably, as a student, the most depressing blog you can read, and even more unfortunately, it is true. I am transferring into the CSU system at the end of August, and have been having to sign up for classes. Before open reg EVEN started, it was pretty impossible to find classes you needed that are still open. The school system, is using as a 1st resort, walking in to class on the first day and asking the teachers approval, that is completely RIDICULOUS! If enough students are having to do this , why would they not just open a new section, the money has to be there if the students with the tuition expenses are. I agree, the Cal government needs to step it up , it is hard to get a job right now, so getting an education is supposed to make it a little easier, what happens when you can’t do either, pretty unsettling…

  28. 28 Juan Balderas-Econ 101 August 6, 2009 at 9:27 PM

    This is such a horrible time for community colleges and our universities to have their budgets cut so drastically. During a recession, people are laid off. Many of those people want to go back to school to get higher degrees or to get new job skills training. But now, with canceled classes and eliminated services, these people aren’t going to be able to return to school full time, which will lead to them receiving much less financial aid. Beyond this, professors join the unemployed, just perpetuating the cycle.


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