Mark Yudof released a little love letter to the UC system this week. After reviewing his proposal to enlarge the role of the federal government in public education several times, we give you our reader’s digest version of his strategy:

1. Reward bleeding hearts. Gives Pell Grants to schools that “enroll the neediest students.” Payola: about $2.5 billion for university core operations.
2. Give more money to grad students. Supplements federal research awards to enhance and expand graduate programs. Requires a state or non-federal matching fund. Payola: $3 billion per year.
3. Force all UCs to fight in a Battle-to-the-Death cage match, last school standing wins a lot of money. Otherwise known as the “Race to the Top model”, this is a competition for federal funding based on “consistent enrollment of Pell recipients, additional institutional support for low and middle income families, targeted graduation rates and low loan default rates.” Potential Payola (if Darwin is on our side): $4.35 billion.
4. Funnel more money into humanities research with a competitive grant program. “Creative” state efforts to improve graduation rates rewarded with cash for the soft sciences and other disciplines often neglected by federal funding. Payola: $2.5 billion.
5. Rip off the “Build American Bonds Model”. Pension obligation bonds. Whatever that means. Payola: We’ll leave this one to the econ majors in the room.

All we can say is, if Yudof really is plotting a UC smackdown for cash grants, things are gonna get ugly.

Image Source: same_same under Creative Commons
“Exploring A New Role For Federal Government In Higher Education” [UCOP]



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