Necessary Business

UNIVERSITY ISSUES: The proposal to break reliance on state funds for UCLA's Anderson School of Management seems to be best option.

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Those decrying the privatization of the University of California may soon have a concrete case to utilize as evidence. A plan recently submitted by UCLA's Anderson School of Management proposes a move away from accepting state funding. The $5.6 million that the graduate school currently receives annually from the state would be supplemented by higher tuition costs and an increase in private donations.

While we are not thrilled that the state has disinvested so drastically, prompting the Anderson School to cut its ties from public funding, at this point there seems to be no better option. We cautiously support the plan but know that the change could have an adverse effect on students.

Anderson officials say that the plan could allow the $5.6 million to be diverted to other underfunded campus programs. Accessibility is also a more pressing issue for state undergraduates. MBA candidates, generally speaking, are in line to enjoy lucrative careers after receiving a degree from the 15th best business school in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.

We would frankly prefer charging more for a business degree than hiking fees for all campus programs. Nevertheless, even though California residents attending Anderson would receive a $5,000 discount and the charge is still similar to other business schools nationwide, the proposed increase in tuition from from $41,000 to an eventual $53,000 is by no means insignificant.

The increase is even more troubling considering the startling fact that Anderson, unlike the higher-ranked Haas School of Business on our own campus, does not have a loan repayment assistance program for students who go into the public or non-profit sector and will therefore receive lower salaries. Should this proposal go forward, we strongly encourage Anderson to look into a loan repayment assistance program to help mitigate the increased costs of attendance and also encourage students to explore outside of the private sector once they have graduated.

It is not clear whether or not the university will approve Anderson's request. Yet, if nothing else, the UC Office of the President should realize that this proposal can be a loud and clear message to Sacramento that the state cannot continue disinvesting from the university without consequence.






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