Published using Google Docs
UCSC October 7th Lesson Plan
Updated automatically every 5 minutes


Fall 2010 Budget Curriculum

(A lot of detail is included here to give you the flexibility to read their audiences and emphasize the points they think are most relevant. Key points are in bold.)

Intro: We’re here to:

-           provide some information on the effects of the budget cuts.

-           explain how the university is being privatized and what that means.

-           talk a little about what students are doing to protect their education and how you can get involved.


Section I: How Budget Cuts are Affecting Students Now

-           Tuition Increases

o   You probably already know that the Regents voted last November to increase your tuition by 32%--this was on top of a 9% increase passed in May 2009. UC tuition has increased over 40% since 2008.

o   Some can afford this. BUT even if you can afford to pay over $10,000 per year for school, you should know that you’ll be getting less for your money.

·           More Limited Admissions

o   This is the second year in a row that the UC has cut freshman enrollment by 1,500.[1] AND the Office of the President is proposing to cut UC enrollments by 8-10,000 over the next few years.[2]

-           Declining Accessibility.

o   According to a study released in early January 2010, UC Berkeley ranks among the lowest in the nation in terms of enrollment rates of underrepresented minorities.[3]

o   Rising Student Debt. Average student loan debt rose nearly 20% in the first 5 years of the 21st century; for students of color, the increase has been between 80 and 100%.[4]

o   The UC is also reserving more spots for out-of-state and international students who can afford to pay about $30,000 per year in tuition.

§  27% of UC Berkeley Fall 2010 freshmen are non-residents—more than one in four.[5] This is almost double the numbers for Fall 2009.

§  This also means more than 600 Californians eligible for admission to UC Berkeley this year did not get in.[6]


·           Declines in Quality

o   Increased class sizes mean less individual attention.[7]

o   Fewer classes are being offered each quarter. Last winter UCSC cut course offerings by 11%, the highest drop of all the UC campuses,[8] making it increasingly difficult for students to get the classes they need to graduate on time.[9] (Figures for this fall are not yet available.)

o   Fewer resources for students.

§  Departments and programs across campus that emphasize community and accessibility have seen their budgets slashed.[10] These include: the Community Studies department, the Chicano and Latino Resources Center, The Equal Opportunity Programs Office, the Center for Rape Prevention and Education.

§  Cuts in Library Collections. The UCSC libraries have been forced to systematically cut hundreds of journal subscriptions from its collection, making student research more difficult.

o   Fewer Choices. Many majors are in threat of disappearing.

§  The Community Studies Department and the History of Consciousness Graduate Program have been decimated by cuts.

§  Most departments on campus are suffering faculty shortages, meaning fewer options for advisers and classes, and less individualized attention for students.

o   Faculty Flight. The UC is losing its best faculty as it is unable to offer competitive salaries or a supportive working environment. Lecturers and instructors are also being laid off.

o   40 faculty positions have been cut from Humanities and Social Sciences.


Section II: Privatization

POINT: The changes we are seeing now are not a temporary reaction to an economic crisis, but rather the result of decisions made years before the current economic crisis. In 2004, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger met with then-UC President Bob Dynes, and his counterpart at CSU, Charles Reed, and pressured them to sign the 2004 “Higher Education Compact,” an agreement to move the UC towards a privatized model.[11]

Privatization involves the transfer of a government service or responsibility to the private sector. In the case of the UC, this has meant a plan to force private individuals—students and their parents—to shoulder more of the cost of tuition, and to solicit more corporate sponsorship. With this compact, 3 key individuals—without any public debate—decided to fundamentally change the model for supporting higher education in California.


Privatization vs. Public Good: Two Perspectives.

The Argument for Privatization:

-           Supporters of privatization say that government bureaucracy is inefficient and expensive, and that privatization is the best way to cut wasteful bureaucracy.

-           Second, since individuals with a college degree on average are able to attain higher incomes than high school graduates, students and their parents should assume more of that financial burden.


Public Good: The Critique of Privatization

         Privatization does not equal Efficiency

-           Critics of privatization argue that it is the UC’s undemocratic structure that produces inefficiencies because it is unaccountable.

-       Though the UC is said to be a public university, the Board of Regents, which oversees the UC’s $18 billion-dollar budget, consists of mostly unelected and unaccountable political appointees and the budgetary process takes place behind closed doors.[12]

-           Between 1994 and 2009, the ratio of senior management to faculty jumped from 2/5 to 1/1.[13]

-       Even as the UC Regents have increased tuition by a total of 40% over the last year and a half, they have continued at every meeting to approve millions of dollars in merit bonuses for top-earning executives.[14]


Public Benefit:

-           Critics of privatization argue that higher education benefits the community as a whole, as University educational attainment is highly correlated with the income of everyone in a state.

-           More educated workers mean faster economic growth and more high-paying, knowledge-based jobs. Thus, when fewer people have access to higher education, the whole community suffers.

-           They point to California’s history of affordable higher education and economic growth:

o   In 1960, the Master Plan for Higher Education in California set public education as a public priority, a central role of the government.

o   It promised every California student an affordable (initially free) seat at an appropriate institution of higher education.[15]

o   In the years since then, the UC system has contributed to making California the 8th largest economy in the world and the largest in America.

-           They note that privatization reduces the quality and scope of research.

o   Under privatization, research and teaching would be shaped by special interests looking for a direct return on their investments.

o   This would mean devaluation of basic research in favor of applied research, increasing inequality in resources between different departments,

o   This may also mean different tuition costs for different majors and cutting or closing of departments deemed to not have sufficient “market value,” such as ethnic studies, history of consciousness, and even large cuts in departments we think of as central to the university, such as literature, history, and languages.


POINT: Even those who do not go to college benefit from having a large college-educated population, which generates innovation, propels economic growth, and creates jobs.



Section III: What Privatization Means for the Future of the UC

More of the Same: Privatization means a continuation and acceleration of the changes we are seeing:

-           increases in tuition and class sizes, reductions in class offerings and diversity, declining accessibility, and overall declines in resources for students and the quality of a UC education.

-           As tuitions increase, fewer Californians will be able to afford to attend college, meaning less opportunity for social mobility and less diversity within the university and the middle class.


Section IV: Students Taking Action

-           Last year’s protests got the attention of both the Governor and UC President Mark Yudof. (For example, the UC had planned to cut enrollments by more than 2,000, but the state, in reaction to student protest, has restored some of the funding it cut.[16])

-       However, they still haven’t gotten the message that the UC’s problems are not just about money, but also about shifting priorities and lack of transparency and accountability.

What are students doing to send a message to the State and the UC?

-       October 7th will be a national day of action in all sectors of public education: the UCs, the CSUs, the community colleges, and K-12. It will involve students, workers, and faculty.

o   At UCSC, students and workers are planning a rally at noon in Baytree plaza.

o   Come get involved! The October 7th Organizing Committee will meet this Friday at 5pm in Stevenson Game Room. If you miss it, check for updates on future meetings.

-       Vote “Yes” on Prop 25!

o   Prop 25 allows the legislature to pass a budget with a simple majority. This would be a step toward reducing the gridlock that has led to defunding public education.

o   Register to vote weekdays in Baytree Plaza –if you’ve recently moved, you’ll need to register with your new address in order to vote on campus. SUA will be registering students to vote in Baytree Plaza. Just look for their table—it only takes a minute!


o   Tell your reps in the legislature and gubernatorial candidates that higher education should be a priority!

o   Ask your other TAs and/or instructors to teach this curriculum, available at

o   Tell your friends!





[1] “UC Releases Fall 2009 Admissions Data,”; “UC to fewer freshmen from fall enrollment”

[2] “Approval of the 2010-2011 UC Budget,” University of California Office of the President, available at

[3] Nanette Asimov, “UC minority enrollment among lowest in the nation,” San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 14, 2010,



[6] Philip Matier and Andrew Ross, “UC Berkeley to admit more out-of-state students”, San Francisco Chronicle, October 21, 2009

[7] “Approval of the 2010-2011 UC Budget,” University of California Office of the President, available at


[9] Chris Newfield, “UC Budget Questions and Answers,” available at

[10] Tamar Lewin, “University of California Makes Cuts After Reduction in State Financing,” New York Times, July 10, 2009

[11] This section is based on a lecture by UC Professor Stanton Glantz. A recording of that lecture can be found at

[12] Thomas Jue and Jerold Theis, “Money isn’t the only problem facing the UC system,” San Jose Mercury News, Jan. 21, 2001

[13] Ibid

[14] See reports of the Regents’ Committee on Compensation at

[15] “A Master Plan for Higher Education in California, 1960-1975,” available at

[16] “Governor’s budget partially restores funds to UC”