Field of Science

California axes science

From the NYT
As the University of California struggles to absorb its sharpest drop in state financing since the Great Depression, every professor, administrator and clerical worker has been put on furlough amounting to an average pay cut of 8 percent.

In chemistry laboratories that have produced Nobel Prize-winning research, wastebaskets are stuffed to the brim on the new reduced cleaning schedule. Many students are frozen out of required classes as course sections are trimmed.

And on Thursday, to top it all off, the Board of Regents voted to increase undergraduate fees — the equivalent of tuition — by 32 percent next fall, to more than $10,000. The university will cost about three times as much as it did a decade ago, and what was once an educational bargain will be one of the nation’s higher-priced public universities.
There was a time when people used to go to Berkeley for the lower tuition. Seems the last refuges of education are gradually eroding away.


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  2. Even at 10K/year it's a tremendous bargain. 50 years ago a first rate Ivy league education was 5K/year, now tuition and fees at the elite women's college where I'm auditing QM is 50K/year. They're getting a great education if the QM course is any indication, but it's no better than John Wheeler or Richard Feynman teaching freshman physics back then. Will their granddaughters parents be paying 500K/year in 50 years.


  3. People whine about the cost of medical which is incredibly better than it was 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 years ago (trust me) -- the diagnostic tests are much less risky, the drugs better (but far from perfect) etc. etc. This just has to cost more.

    It cost 15 K a year in '86 for a year at Cornell (my son) and 20K 4 years later. No one seems to complain about a product which although quite good hasn't really improved that much (although the surroundings in which it is administered have become much more posh).


  4. Berkeley was indeed terribly cheap from what I hear. Still, the larger picture of which this phenomenon is a subset is disquieting.

  5. The folks in the UC system need to realize that it wont kill them to empty thier own waste paper baskets.... You do a startup and you quickly find that no job that needs doing is below you. That's a valuable education right there.


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