Saturday, April 24, 2010

Alternative Commission on the Future of the University at UCLA

On May 4th from 5-7 at Humanities 135, faculty, workers, and students will meet together to discuss an alternative Commission for the Future of the University. The first hour will consist of presentations outlining specific recommendations, while the second hour will revolve around a democratic selection of the top suggestions. After this meeting, we will present our recommendations to the media and the Office of the President.

The central topics will be enrollment targets, student fees, online education, pension contributions, graduate education, diversity goals, summer instruction, language requirements, budget planning, and funding models. Please come and add your voice to the democratization of the university.

For more information, contact Bob Samuels:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Alternative Commission should propose replacing our current "smoke and mirrors" budget system with a transparent model which clearly shows how all funds are being used.

At the heart of the problem is the way State funds have always been managed within UC. Each year the State allocates some large sum of money to UC, known as 19900 funds, which are ritualistically slice up into smaller and smaller pieces and distributed to departments as "permanent budget". These smaller chunks of State money are conceptualized as "FTE's", or full-time-equivilents, i.e. funded positions. However each department is permitted to adjust how it's State money is used, and the whole process is carefully hidden from public view. How any particular piece of the State money is being used is unknowable. For example, a faculty position may be funded with State money, ostensibly for the general purposes of the university, while the particular faculty member may or may not be involved in teaching undergraduates.

This secretive process for dividing and using the State funds is the underlying mechanism which permits the covert subsidization of Federal research project with State funds.

The cloaked and secretive process for managing State funds within UC is not in anyone's best long-term interest.

In the future the University needs a clear and transparent funding process which makes evident who is paying for what.

Without this, it will always be impossible to know which UC activities are actually losing money.

Hopefully this Alternative Commission will address this issue of overhauling the UC budgeting system to shine the light of day on how State funds are being used within the University on an ongoing basis.