It's a bit off topic here today, but I think the bigger picture pertains greatly to the health and future our our beloved public university.
From the San Jose Mercury News:
A proposal that would privatize the University of California Los Angeles' business school but allow it to remain affiliated with the state university is moving ahead.
Under the proposal, the Anderson School of Management would no longer receive state funding, instead relying on tuition, donations and fundraising, like private schools. However, it would keep its affiliation with UCLA.
Suzanne Shu, an Anderson School professor, told the [Daily] Bruin that financial independence would allow Anderson to better compete with private business schools.
Other publicly run business schools, such as the University of Michigan, have successfully spun off as financially independent institutions. This would be a first for a UC school.
"Quality will be able to improve if we have more control over how the funds are used," she said.
I'm curious as to everyone's thoughts about this, as my feelings about this are mixed. I think this is probably the right thing for Anderson to do in order to protect its interests in the future, and to ensure its continued excellence in the field.
I am also saddened that it has come to this, as I have always taken great pride in having attended public schools (from K - college) and especially in U.C.L.A.'s place as one of the top 2-3 public universities in the country and the world. I always saw the U.C. system as a crowning achievement of the state of California and its citizens. Now, how long until the med school goes independent, or our other professional schools, even individual departments?
I remember my parents bemoaning Prop 13 when I was a kid because of the long term harm it could do to public institutions, and they were worried about our one library in Lancaster, when it was a very small town back then. And certainly, there have been decades of short-sightedness and financial mismanagement at all levels throughout the state which have compounded the economic woes imposed upon the U.C. system.
Anderson going private is still a long ways off from happening, but the article states that the faculty of Anderson are the ones who are really pushing this, which is very telling to me. They apparently feel the school would be more successful if were not tied to the sinking ship that is the U.C. system.
I am so discouraged to think of a future when U.C.L.A, along with Cal and Texas and UNC and UVA and the other great public schools in our country, are just a collection of private schools linked by an historical association under a common name. That's not how public education was supposed to work in this country. But maybe that's the only way for these schools to survive going forward.