Pension Debate Reveals Greater UC Hypocrisy

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I am one of ten recent University of California alumni who have collaborated on a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, Chair of the Board of Regents Russell Gould and Vice Chair of the Board of Regents Sherry Lansing regarding the recent pension request made by many of the top executives at the university.

Today, the state of California faces a multi-billion-dollar deficit. If the leaders of the greatest public university system in the world demand pensions that are staggeringly greater than those that are available to the average worker who receives a pension and far more than what is available under Social Security, both the university and the governor will be unable to address the growing pension crisis.

For the minority community, this crisis is even more direct. In order to meet the excessive demands of these university executives, tuition will again be increased at the expense of the vast majority of students from middle class families. Given that more than one-third of university students and future students are minority, this will have a particularly harsh impact on the leadership attainments and aspirations for minority students wishing to enter next year's class at Cal or at any other university campus.

When the campus was founded in 1868, it was created to be a university for the people of California. With the recent pension demands and Governor Brown's (a UC Berkeley alumnus) proposed cuts in light of California's deficit, our alma mater (and future alma mater) will no longer belong to the people of California.

Dyana Delfin-Polk UC Berkeley Alumna

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