Archive for 2013

UC 101: Educating Our New President – Lesson #4

UC 101: Educating Our New President

Lesson #4 – Overgrown Administrative Bureaucracies – August 19, 2013

 by Charles Schwartz, Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley
Posted at
[Introduction, July 22; Lesson #1, July 29;  Lesson #2, August 5;
Lesson #3, August 12 ]

This lesson will, incidentally, showcase two classical Methods of Inquiry that are ingrained in the academic world:  the Scientific Method, involving the collection and analysis of empirical data; the Socratic Method, involving a series of questions put forward to stimulate critical thinking about some puzzle.

The particular objective here is to understand what appears to be long-term cancerous growth of the managerial sector in the University of California. The following graph shows the latest data; and the text after that conveys a sad story of official responses.
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UC 101: Educating Our New President – Lesson #3

UC 101: Educating Our New President

Lesson #3 – Bad Financial Bookkeeping – August 12, 2013
by Charles Schwartz, Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley
Posted at
[Introduction, July 22; Lesson #1, July 29; Lesson #2, August 5]

What could be more boring than bookkeeping? We all have our own checkbooks and credit cards and household accounts to keep track of; and the Internet lets us play with our bank accounts in a familiar way.

Of course, a big university has a lot of money flows and will need a substantial system of budgeting and accounting to keep track of all that. It can get complicated; but it should be understandable and credible. There is already an official commitment to “transparency and accountability.” We should explore that with a critical eye.
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UC 101: Educating Our New President – Lesson #2

UC 101: Educating Our New President

Lesson #2 –  August 5, 2013
Executive Compensation at UC and the Misplaced Corporate Mentality

 by Charles Schwartz, Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley
Posted at  [Introduction, July 22; Lesson #1, July 29 ]


Here is a Letter-to-the-Editor published by the San Francisco Chronicle on July 22, just a few days after The Regents appointed Janet Napolitano to be the new President of the University of California.

A big UC payday

Incoming UC President Janet Napolitano’s base salary of $570,000 is outrageous and obscene … and it’s $20,000 a year less than her predecessor Mark Yudof.
And they want to keep raising tuition?
This is a “public” university?

Complaints about excessive compensation for UC executives have been a staple in public discourse for many years. Those criticisms come from newspaper editors and elected officials in Sacramento as well as from many individual citizens, on and off the University’s  campuses.
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UC 101: Educating Our New President – Lesson #1

UC 101: Educating Our New President

Lesson #1 – The Primacy of Public Education –  July 29, 2013

 by Charles Schwartz, Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley

Posted at  [Introduction, July 22]

The President of the University of California should be a leading advocate for all of Public Education throughout the nation. This means working with others to avoid and reverse the disease of privatization that is so severely damaging democracy’s most vital institutions.
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UC 101: Educating Our New President – Intro

UC 101: Educating Our New President

 Introduction, July 22, 2013

 by Charles Schwartz, Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley

Janet Napolitano has just been appointed by the Regents of the University of California to be the next President of this great university.  It has been noted that she has impressive abilities and experience in several areas of the public sphere, but not in higher education.  One may expect that she will start out on a “listening tour” of the campuses, to better acquaint herself with the existing structure, personnel and culture of this institution.  That is a familiar “top-down” approach to gaining legitimacy upon assuming leadership from outside.

What I propose here is an experiment in “bottom-up” education.
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To the REGENTS: Faculty Work Time

to:  REGENTS of the University of California
from:  Charles Schwartz, Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley
subject:  ITEM E1 for the May 15 meeting of the Committee on Educational Policy

Academic Performance Indicators at UC

     It is gratifying to see the UC Office of the President (UCOP) finally making use of the University’s Faculty Time Use Survey (see page 6 of Item E1, posted at ).  I have been writing and speaking about this important source of data for some time, with little or no response from University officials.  For any serious intellectual study about what goes on in this great public research university, and for any serious attempt to provide meaningful “accountability and transparency” to the public, this is an essential resource.

I am happy to see that UCOP acknowledges that this data, originally collected almost 30 years ago, is probably quite accurate today. The top level results are that Regular Rank Faculty spend, on average, 61.3 hours per week at all university-related activities; and this total work time is primarily allocated: 42% to Instruction; 38% to Research; 20% to Professional, Public and University Service. There is a portion of the non-Instructional activities, amounting to something less than 6%, which may be allocated to Instruction. (The UCOP paper erroneously gives a total of 54% for all instructional activities.)

Regretfully, the UCOP paper does not mention further data that allows one to separate the Instructional work of the Faculty between undergraduate and graduate studies. This is very important for any realistic assessment of work and costs at the University. The older Time Use Survey says that Faculty class time is divided equally between these two levels of instruction; a more recent study by UCOP, which involves a measure of student credit hours, comes out with a different proportion, namely 3/8 for undergraduate classes and 5/8 for graduate classes. (See , Tables 14-16.)

This leads to an estimate that something under ¼ of all Faculty work time – and thus something less than ¼ of all Core expenses for Ladder Faculty – may be fairly allocated to undergraduate instruction.  This conclusion is strongly at odds with the standard method by which UCOP (and other research universities) calculate the average per-student cost for providing undergraduate education.  For more discussion of this controversy, see my recent papers “Financing the University – Parts 22 and 23”, posted at .  There I calculate that undergraduate tuition and fees now far exceed 100% of the actual cost for UC to provide undergraduate education (including direct instructional costs, supporting services and institutional overhead).


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Cost Accounting at a Research University

Cost Accounting at a Research University

by Charles Schwartz, UC Berkeley

My previous study on this topic, with the title, “The Cost of Undergraduate Education at the University of California – Improved Calculation”, was posted in late 2007 at It concluded that the current level of mandatory fees for resident undergraduate students is very close to 100% of the University’s actual expenditure for undergraduate education, averaged per student.  In contrast, University officials said that student fees covered 30% of the cost of education.

New results reported here, for the year 2011-12, show University expenditures of:
$1.296 Billion for Undergraduate Education = $6,910 average cost per student; and
$2.117 Billion for Faculty Research (unsponsored) and related Graduate Programs.

The mandatory fee level for resident undergraduate students was $13,181, which is nearly twice what it cost the University to provide their education.  In this paper, I shall review the method used before, then go through the steps with the latest input data. At the end is a critical discussion of the implications of these financial facts, including an indictment of the University leadership for their dishonesty.

The full paper is posted at

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UC Management Bloat – updated

UC’s Management Continues its Super-Sized Growth

by Charles Schwartz, UC Berkeley


It has been two years since my last presentation of data on the bloated growth of management at the University of California, covering the span 1991-2010. (See the post here in March 2011.)

The following graph includes the newest official data: up to October 2012.


This shows the continuing outsized growth of the management cadre (defined as the employees classified in Senior Management Group and Management & Senior Professionals): their numbers grew by 252% over the 21 year period while total employee numbers grew by a mere 51%. (The total number of employees shown in this graph is scaled down so that one can compare the relative growth, over time, of each population.)

For another comparison, the latest total number in this management category (SMG + MSP) is 9,457 FTE (full time equivalent employees) while the number of Regular Teaching Faculty is 8,657 FTE.

Similar graphs for each individual campus of the university system can be found here (.doc) or here (.pdf).  For several campuses we note a mild decrease in the Management numbers in the past few years but then a new upward surge with the latest data.

Elsewhere I have written about the repeated requests for UC’s top officials to either justify this apparent bloat or to get rid of it; and their inability to do either.  My previous estimate was that, if the apparent excess is not justifiable, then UC is wasting something like $1 Billion per year.

The Governor has recently shown some interest in the University and its financial problems. He has called for lowering costs, avoiding further tuition increases and reducing executive salaries. Many people have criticized the Board of Regents for setting corporate scale salaries for the top executives they appoint at UC; and fixing that bad habit would be good for the soul of this public institution. In defense, the UC President and his minions often point out that the total amount of money paid to the Senior Management Group is rather small. So, a better line of attack would be to hold them accountable for this whole mass of bureaucratic excess which they have created.


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