Events May Divert the Governor from MOOCs, etc., at the Regents in 2014

Jerry Brown will almost certainly be running for re-election in 2014.  It doesn’t look like there will be much of a contest but there will be at least some effort devoted to the campaign.

But apart from re-election, Brown is facing some “legacy” problems.  During his first iteration as governor, he wasn’t big – to say the least – on grand infrastructure, unlike his father Pat.  However, this time around, there is the high-speed rail project and the water tunnel project, both grand and expensive.  These projects are analogs to his dad’s freeways and state water project. 

The high speed rail is running into problems of financing and negative court rulings.  The water project also has financing and environmental obstacles.  Currently, dry weather is causing water rationing in the Sacramento area.  But it is unclear that the proposed water tunnels would address that issue.  Indeed, the drought could raise the issue – very sensitive in the Bay Area – of diverting water to southern California.

Of course, the third legacy of Father Pat was higher ed expansion in the form of the Master Plan.  But we are not going to be building more campuses of UC or CSU in the immediate future.  And tuition isn’t going up in an election year.

So UC may get a break from gubernatorial attention in 2014.  Brown wouldn’t want his rail and other plans to end like this: