California learns to trim the cost of education

Matthew Garrahan:

W hen Mark Yudof addressed the Uni versity of Califor nia’s board of regents recently, what would have normally been a quiet gathering turned into a circus.
Fourteen people were arrested after protesting against cuts in the funding of the UC network, which includes UCLA, Berkeley and San Diego and business schools such as Haas , the Anderson School of Management and the Rady School of Management.
As California grapples with a budget crisis that has affected all public services, the UC system has been asked to absorb a funding shortfall of more than $800m. Student protests on a scale unseen since the anti-war demonstrations of the 1960s have been held at Berkeley, while other protests have been held at UCLA and UC Irvine.
Mr Yudof, the president of the UC system, told the regents that steep tuition fee rises were un-avoidable. “What we cannot do is surrender to the greatest enemy of the University of California, which is mediocrity. We have to stabilise our situation and then we can build [again].”