Students Must Question Yudof’s Motives

Dear Editor,

In an extended interview with student journalists, UC President Mark G. Yudof showed himself to be an expert of the fine legal art of parsing words. For instance, he seems to claim that student fees are going up in order to protect instructional quality and access.

“Remember that when we increase fees, one-third of that goes to scholarships so there’s more money in the bank for scholarships,” Yudof said. “Actually, we spend only two out of three of the dollars that we spend out of student fees. Two-thirds of it goes to the instruction program and the like, and the other one-third goes to increasing financial aid.”

One way that Yudof tried to scare students into accepting increased fees is to tell them that if they do not accept the increases, the quality of undergraduate education will suffer.

“And the enemy in all of this is mediocrity,” Yudof said. “We can make your classes bigger, it can take you longer to get your degrees [and] class access is worse. We can do a lot of things to achieve mediocrity — in fact, mediocrity is fairly easy to achieve. But we’re not going to do that.”

The problem with this statement is that class sizes have already gone up, and the number of classes has already gone down. In other words, the system is both raising fees and lowering the quality of education at the same time.

One of Yudof’s most questionable moments came when he acted surprised to hear that class sizes are expanding and that programs are being reduced.

“We are getting more and more reports of large classes and closed sections,” he said.

It seems that Yudof has forgotten that throughout the summer, he was telling everyone that there would be expanded class sizes and fewer class offerings due to the state funding reduction.

Instead of limiting enrollment and raising fees, unions and student groups argue that the University of California should just use the money it has to get itself through the current reduction in state funds. After all, the total UC budget is $20 billion, and the state reduction was $600 million, which is less than 3 percent of the budget.

While Yudof usually says that the University of California cannot borrow its way out of the situation, he does admit here that they could finance their way out of the current problem as a last resort. We should not forget that right after the state reduced the UC budget, the university turned around and then lent $200 million to the state.

The first step is stopping Yudof and others in claiming that saying ‘no’ to new fees will result in UC poverty. We must demand that the university starts representing its financial status in a clear and consistent manner.

—Bob Samuels

President, University Council- American Federation of Teachers

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$200
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$200
$500
Contributed
Our Goal