Chancellor Birgeneau: Cal on Its Way to Becoming a Federal University

Louis Freedberg at California Watch has a fascinating story today about the way the University of California system is changing as the balance between state and federal funding for higher ed shifts. The wheaty recap: in the six-plus years since Birgeneau took office, the biggest chunk of his funding came from the state, followed by federal research grants and then student tuition and fees and finally, philanthropy. But as the state has repeatedly and drastically cut funding for higher ed, those proportions have changed dramatically: federal funding’s increased, as have student fees, while state funding’s dropped off precipitously. All of this raises some pretty heavy questions for the university, which has always operated as an arm of the state, responsible to the citizens of California. But with all that changing, does the school’s responsibility also change? Anyway, it’s a good read.

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