UC Regent Crane traveling rocky road toward confirmation hearing

May 13, 2011 Full story: Inside Bay Area

David Crane has spent less than five months as a University of California regent, but he has already attracted a decade's worth of opposition.

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University of California

Pleasant Hill, CA

#1 May 14, 2011
UC Berkeleyís Financial Adversity Spawns Positive Innovation, Huge Mistakes.(The author who has 35 yearsí consulting experience, has taught at University of California Berkeley, where he was able to observe the culture & the way senior management work)

University of California Berkeley (Cal) Chancellorís huge mistakes: recruits (using California tax $) out of state $50,000 tuition students that displace qualified Californians from public university; spends $7,000,000 + for consultants to do his & many vice chancellors jobs (prominent East Coast university accomplishing same at 0 cost); pays ex Michigan governor $300,000 for lectures; Latino enrollment drops while out of state jumps 2010; tuition to Return on Investment (ROI) drops below top 10; NCAA places basketball program on probation: absence institutional control.

Chancellor Birgeneauís ($500,000 salary) fiscal track record is dismal indeed. He would like to blame the politicians, since they stopped giving him every dollar asked for, & the state legislators do share some responsibility for the financial crisis. But not in the sense he means.

A competent chancellor would have been on top of identifying inefficiencies & then crafting a plan to fix them. Able oversight by the UC Board of Regents & the legislature would have required him to provide data on inefficiencies & on what steps he was taking to solve them during his 8 year reign. Instead, every year Birgeneau would request a budget increase, the timid president, regents would agree to it, and the legislature would provide. The hard questions were avoided by all concerned, & the problems just piled up to $150 million of inefficienciesÖ.until there was no money left.

Itís not that Birgeneau was unaware that there were, in fact, waste & inefficiencies during his 8 year reign. Faculty & staff raised issues with Birgeneau & Provost Breslauer ($400,000 salary), but when they failed to see relevant action taken, they stopped. Finally, Birgeneau engaged expensive ($7,000,000 +) consultants to tell him & the Provost what they should have known as leaders or been able to find out from the bright, engaged people.(Prominent east-coast University accomplishing same at 0 costs)

We are sympathetic to the frustration of UC Chancellors running their campuses with declining support from the state. Cal. has been badly damaged by Birgeneau. Good people are loosing their jobs. Calís leadership is either incompetent or culpable. Merely cutting out inefficiencies does not have the effect desired.

But you never want a crisis to go to waste. Increasing Calís budget is not enough; we believe the best course of action for UC is to honorably replace Cal. Chancellor Birgeneau

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