Let’s catch up with University of California President Mark Yudof:
“On Dec. 2, UC President Mark Yudof spoke to the California Chamber of Commerce Board in San Francisco regarding misconceptions about the University of California.”
(Well, that’s the belly of the beast, that’s the Fortress of Reaction right there. Mmmm.)
Anyway, here’s his myth #8, to get you started:
“#8: Only the wealthy can afford to attend UC.
Nothing belies this myth more than the incredible socioeconomic diversity of UC students.
About 40 percent of all UC undergraduates receive Pell grants. Pell grant recipients come from families with an annual household income of $50,000 or less.
To contextualize this percentage, consider this: Four of our campuses — Berkeley, Davis, UCLA and San Diego — each enroll more Pell grant recipients than the entire Ivy League combined.”
Remembering the time when TIME Magazine caught Mr. Yudof rolling up his sleeves:
Here it is:
On Dec. 2, UC President Mark Yudof spoke to the California Chamber of Commerce Board in San Francisco regarding misconceptions about the University of California. The following are his prepared remarks.
“A Baker’s Dozen Myths about Higher Education”
Thank you. It’s a pleasure for me to be here this morning, and to see so many familiar faces.
You know, Mark Twain once said, “Predictions are very hard to make — especially when they deal with the future.”
Unpredictability shapes the job of every university president. And as everyone here knows, much has happened at the University of California in the last few weeks. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about recent events during our Q&A.
Now, with apologies to David Letterman, I’ve come here today with a list. Unfortunately, it’s not very funny.
It’s a list of 13 myths about higher education.
(I should add that because I’m a big fan of Wallace Stevens, I almost called this speech “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a University.” But in deference to the language of commerce, I settled on “A Baker’s Dozen Myths about Higher Education.”)
These are the myths driving the grand narrative about universities — the grand narrative that says students are being priced out of universities like UC, while funding instead goes to new facilities or administrator salaries. So today, I’m here to dispel these myths.
#1: The cost of producing UC degrees and credit hours has gone up over the last decade.
I hear this myth all the time. And it’s frustrating, because this cost has actually dropped by more than 15 percent, in constant dollars, since the 1990s.
This cost has dropped in part due to a broad range of systemwide efficiencies: common IT systems; reduced employee travel; thousands of unfilled faculty and staff positions; one-third fewer employees at the UC Office of the President; a higher student-faculty ratio, and so on.
What has gone up, however, is the student contribution, or co-pay, to these degrees. At the same time, the state’s contribution per student has plummeted — by 60 percent in the last two decades.
To put this see-saw in perspective, UC students now cover roughly 46 percent of general fund support. But 20 years ago, their share hovered around 12 percent.
Now, sometimes I hear a variation on this myth, in the form of #2:
See the rest after the jump\