A Modest Proposal from Joe Mathews

…The University of California badly needs a president who knows how to fight. For 25 years, the UC has been playing nice and doing the right thing. And that’s gotten the system nowhere. The UC opted to be responsible and not buy the kind of Prop 98-style protection that the K-14 system bought. The result: UC made itself easy to cut. The UC made a series of compacts with governors on cuts and spending – only to see those cuts exceed what was agreed to. And more recently, the UC has stood back, meekly, as the governor and legislators have used it as a punching bag, blaming the system for tuition increases that are, in fact, the result of decisions by the governor and legislators to cut funding. It is well past time for someone who is less academic, less “responsible” – and way more hard-edged…

Now, a lot of people, reasonable people, will say this is bad advice. They’ll say that you don’t want to get into a war with the people who fund you. But the answer to that is easy. Being nice hasn’t gotten the UC anywhere. Indeed, diplomacy has made the UC easier to cut. It’s time for new rules. You mess with the UC, you pay a political and public relations price…

Full article at http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2013/03/wanted-a-war-president-for-uc/

[Joe Mathews: Journalist and California Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)]

Obviously, the next UC president should get in there and fight:

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