The premise is hardly debatable: No University of California school is the same.
For that reason, officials at UC Berkeley want all 10 campuses to break free from Daddy Board of Regents--or at least have more independence. They've written a proposal to allow each UC to set its own tuition and fees, approve salaries for top earners and make other decisions that have historically been left up to the board. Advocates believe that the university's one-size-fits-all structure has inhibited individual campuses.
"It's like you have 10 children and each has different talents and challenges,"
UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau
told the Associated Press
. "We need a system in which each of them receives the kind of attention they need."
Campuses wouldn't get to go completely buck wild under the plan. The UC Board of Regents would still be in charge of "overarching policy matters such as admissions standards, state funding, negotiating union contracts, hiring chancellors and overseeing pension funds," AP reports.
Still, UC President Mark Yudof
has criticized the plan, reports Cal's student newspaper The Daily Californian
. Opponents have called attempts to give individual campuses more autonomy "elitist."
UC Student Regent-designate Jonathan Stein told The Daily Californian that the possibility of campuses setting student tuition and their own scale for faculty pay has the potential to create "flagship" UC campuses (read: UC Berkeley and UCLA) with tuition prices "harder to access for middle-class students."
Birgeneau, one of the main authors of the proposal, continues to seek more input from the UC community.