Rebenching: If you equalize, UCLA gets less than otherwise

Inside Higher Ed today has a long piece on UC’s “rebenching” approach which would change the formula by which UC funding is allocated to the various campuses.  As the article notes, some of the disparate funding that tends to favor older campuses such as UCLA is due to the graduate/undergraduate mix.  But even if you adjust for that effect, the older campuses get more.  That fact means that if you equalize, in the end the older campuses will get less than otherwise.  You can phase it in.  But the logic is unavoidable.  Phasing it in just means that the older campuses get less than under the current formula gradually.

Is rebenching going to be tied to differential tuition?  So far, that possibility has not been part of rebenching.  It is likely, of course, that the older campuses could – if allowed – charge more.  But with the governor’s current attitude (see earlier posts), tuition increases are off the table.

Note that the rebenching report indicated that more state funding would be needed to avoid a pure redistribution effect:
http://senate.ucmerced.edu/sites/senate/files/public/Rebenching_9.28.12.pdf 
[See page 2 of the rebenching report which follows the cover pages.]

And from the Inside Higher Ed article:
…The Academic Senate… argued that “that monies allocated to the UC should not be subjected to rebenching until and unless the UC reaches its previous maximum funding levels,” since the system is currently operating with about 30 percent less state funding than it had in 2007-08. The Senate also argued that the formula is too simplistic, since educating some undergraduates, such as those in engineering or music, is much more expensive than others…

The Inside Higher Ed article is at:
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#label/subscription/13c910fa60456adf

I will allow myself an editorial comment on rebenching:

4 thoughts on “Rebenching: If you equalize, UCLA gets less than otherwise

  1. From the perspective of the low-income campuses, rebenching is a symbolic reduction in their long tradition of subsidizing the high-income campuses. The UC system functions as Robin Hood in reverse, and it would be only decent of the high-income campuses to acknowledge how much they have benefited from this. The flip side is that a Santa Cruz student receives at that campus about half of what they pay to UC just in tuition. My suggestion is that UCLA faculty help the admin find revenue streams to replace the subsidy revenues from UCSC et al, perhaps by reviewing unjustified cross subsidies and costly boondoggles like the ones this blog has exposed, and thus pioneer reforms that would help the system as a whole–a system from which UCLA benefits more than does UCSC, UCSB, et al.

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