Serious Business: A preemptive eulogy for UCB? No one’s listening.

August 2, 2009


Two days ago, my favorite source of sudoku puzzles ran an article where Birgeneau responded to the allegedly “widely-circulated blog post on the Atlantic Magazine Web site.” Man, I can’t believe I missed seeing that! Maybe I should check out the Atlantic site more often, or maybe read the Daily Cal Blog regularly for Berkeley-related internet news.

Dickish sarcasm aside, I’m sure I would have caught this blog post if I bothered to check Twitter, ever.

Here’s the blog post in question. Here is an excerpt:

The damage to the university is likely to be irreversible. It will be less able to compete with other institutions in the hiring of distinguished faculty. Funding for complex research will be less accessible. Tuition fees will inevitably rise, as they’ve already risen, putting the place out of reach for the underprivileged. Staff will be let go. Programs will be zeroed out. No doubt Berkeley will remain an estimable institution, and a significant player in the intellectual and economic life of the state. But its days as one of the very greatest universities in the country are clearly numbered.

Birgeneau’s solution? More private funding!

Daily Cal commenters band together to make me agree with them, and therefore feel bad about myself:

As long as the Top Cop at Cal hauls in a cool $200k per year *I* will not give one blue dime to this school.

This is the wrong path to go down. A lot of our brightest students (those in the middle to upper middle income range) turn down top privates in order to go here because they can save tens of thousands of dollars a year. Once that incentive is gone, you may well see a brain drain on our university. Who wants to go to a school that can’t retain top profs and offers few student services? If Birgenau actually wants to make this work he needs to increase Berkeley’s appeal FIRST. If you’re going to ask for market value, you need to make sure that market value is high and increasing not plummeting as it currently is.

My advice to students: graduate quickly because soon the diploma will be about as meaningful as one from CSU.

But then again, the Daily Cal comments section is still the Daily Cal comments section:

I would also like to point out, if it were not for those hippies, the draft would still be around and you would probably be overseas being shot at.

Moreso than the budget crisis, etcetera, etcetera, the Daily Cal comments section gives me anxiety about getting a degree from Berkeley, out of all institutions.

On the other hand, I shouldn’t worry too much about it. It’s a small minority of the campus that bothers to comment on dailycal.org. (Sometimes I like to imagine what their lives are like. *thoughtful silence*)

In reality, no one else is listening. This is because students are stupid and pretty much useless. Good riddance, I say.

*takes a dump on a student’s chest; increases pay for UC execs*



  1. If Berkeley, and the university is of interest, you should see this upcoming film ‘Power Trip-Theatrically Berkeley’


  2. If farts, and farts going into cakes is of interest, you should see this film ‘cake farts’


  3. You know, we can delete spam comments, instead of writing snarky replies to them. Incidentally, if tubs, and girls in tubs are of interest…

  4. Indeed we can, but which is more fun?

  5. University of California President Yudof Approves $3,000,000 to Outsource UCB Chancellor’s Job
    The UC President has a UCB Chancellor that should do the high paid job he is paid for instead of hiring an East Coast consulting firm to fulfill his responsibilities. ‘World class’ smart executives like Chancellor Birgeneau need to do the analysis, hard work and make the difficult decisions of their executive job!
    Where do consulting firms like Bain ($3,000,000 consultants) get their recommendations?
    From interviewing the senior management that hired them and will be approving their monthly consultant fees and expense reports. Remember the nationally known auditing firm who said the right things and submitted recommendations that senior management wanted to hear and fooled government oversight agencies and the public?
    Mr. Birgeneau’s executive officer performance management responsibilities include “inspiring innovation and leading change.” This involves “defining outcomes, energizing others at all levels and ensuring continuing commitment.” Instead of demonstrating his capacity to fulfill his executive accountabilities, Mr. Birgeneau outsourced them. Doesn’t he engage University of California and University of California Berkeley (UCB) people at all levels to help examine the budget and recommend the necessary trims? Hasn’t he talked to Cornell and the University of North Carolina – which also hired Bain — about best practices and recommendations that might apply to UCB cuts?
    No wonder the faculty and staff are angry and suspicious. Three million dollars is a high price for Californians to pay when a knowledgeable ‘world-class’ Chancellor is not doing his job.
    Please help save $3,000,000 for teaching our students and request that the UC President require the UCB Chancellor to fulfill his executive job accountabilities!

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