Tussle for UC's purse strings

Re "The UC lesson," Editorial, June 21

The University of California system is regarded worldwide as a premier institution of higher learning.

The California Legislature is an object of national ridicule for its incompetence and ineffectiveness.

Only a power-hungry politician could even conceive of such a destructive concept as placing the university system under the direct control of the Legislature.

Gary Osheroff

Pasadena

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Politics is already roiling UC. For now, it is a capitalist hypocritical regime that dominates this "public education" system. It is time to replace this political agenda with a new and just one.

Public education should be available to all. UC regents voted to approve increasing student fees while simultaneously increasing executive salaries. They said they were unhappy about raising fees but had no choice because of limited state funding.

No choice? UC chancellors receive an average salary of $312,400, and the UC president earns a base salary of $591,000. Such an abuse of public funds should be fought openly and be regulated by using all political means available. The UC system belongs to the public, not to its top executives who have so far failed us all.

Gil Z. Hochberg

Los Angeles

The writer is an associate professor at UCLA.

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As a faculty member at UCLA and the union president representing the nontenured faculty and librarians in the UC system, I support state Sen. Leland Yee's efforts to make the University of California more accountable. Like Yee, I have grown increasingly concerned about the university's lack of transparency and accountability, and I see UC's failures hurting undergraduate students on a daily basis.

While the university argues that state funding cuts are forcing UC to raise student fees, cut enrollments, eliminate classes and increase class size, it is clear that the university generates billions of dollars in revenue each year from its medical facilities, extension programs and research contracts.

UC does not have a budget problem; what it has is a priorities problem. Yee's bill would go a long way in getting UC to change its priorities.

Bob Samuels

Santa Barbara

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