Tuesday, January 26, 2010

UC Budget and JP Morgan

The Daily Cal reports that Nathan Brostrom is officially taking over the direction of the UC budget. He's been doing this job on an interim basis since last September, but now it's official. And from the very first paragraph of the article, alarm bells are ringing:
He came to UC Berkeley to shake up the campus's financial strategy. Now, Vice Chancellor of Administration Nathan Brostrom brings his big banking experience to the UC Office of the President.
Big banking experience?
Before coming to campus, Brostrom had been the manager of the Western Region Public Finance Group for J.P. Morgan Securities in San Francisco. During his 10 years at J.P. Morgan, he oversaw a $11.3 billion bond sale for the state of California, the largest municipal deal in U.S. history at that time, according to a university statement.
Not coincidentally, Brostrom's already brought some of that "big banking experience" to the table: he "took a leading role" in pushing the $321 million renovation of the stadium, and has been a "leading campus supporter" of the absurd decision to bring in Bain & Company (at the price of $3 million) to identify and oversee budget cuts over the next two years.

To review, the path to success in the UC administration:
Step 1: Regional manager at JP Morgan
Step 2: Director of UC Budget
Nice priorities.

P.S. Brostrom was one of the administrators who was sent down to meet with protesters at the UCOP sit-in.

1 comment:

  1. The problem is 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.