Thursday, January 14, 2010

Money Laundering

By now we've all seen Bob Meister's work documenting the UC administration's use of student tuition -- and the promise of future tuition increases -- as collateral for construction bonds. But what about the rest of the budget? Here, Bob Samuels takes a close look back at the notes from the Regents' meeting on November 18, 2009:
What I suspect is going on is that the UC is basically laundering its money by placing funds from many different sources, including student fees and state funds, into its investment accounts. By using this structure, the system is able to hide its unrestricted funds and to redirect money from its investment accounts into its chosen priorities, which is mostly increasing the compensation of the star administrators, faculty, and coaches. The end result of this process is that the UC declares that it is broke, while it raises record revenue and redistributes income from the poorest students and workers to the wealthiest employees.

1 comment:

  1. Birgeneau uses $3,000,000 from construction funds to pay for consultants. UCB Chancellor Birgeneau Loss of Credibility, Trust
    The UCB budget gap has grown to $150 million, and still the Chancellor is spending money that isn't there on expensive outside consultants. His reasons range from the need for impartiality to requiring the "innovative thinking, expertise, and new knowledge" the consultants would bring.

    Does this mean that the faculty and management of a world-class research and teaching institution lack the knowledge, impartiality, innovation, and professionalism to come up with solutions? Have they been fudging their research for years? The consultants will glean their recommendations from interviewing faculty and the UCB management that hired them; yet solutions could be found internally if the Chancellor were doing the job HE was hired to do. Consultant fees would be far better spent on meeting the needs of students.

    There can be only one conclusion as to why creative solutions have not been forthcoming from the professionals within UCB: Chancellor Birgeneau has lost credibility and the trust of the faculty as well as of the Academic Senate leadership that represents them. Even if the faculty agrees with the consultants' recommendations - disagreeing might put their jobs in jeopardy - the underlying problem of lost credibility and trust will remain.