UC Irvine law school dean Erwin Chemerinsky in today's LA Times:
The proposals for the University of California now being considered in Sacramento — limiting tuition and fees, freezing executive and faculty salaries and increasing legislative control over the UCs — are well intentioned. But they are a recipe for ruining a great public university system.
A public university has only three choices: It can be subsidized by the state, it can raise tuition and fees to make up needed revenue, or it can be mediocre. Without adequate revenue, faculties will shrink, meaning fewer and larger classes; the quality of faculty teaching and research will diminish; programs and facilities will be inadequate for education. ...
One proposal being discussed is freezing or decreasing executive and faculty salaries. But this is no answer. If the University of California is going to retain and attract high-level faculty, it must pay the same as comparable schools across the country. Over the last few weeks, I have negotiated salaries with superb professors we are attempting to recruit who are currently teaching at Harvard, Northwestern and Yale. The University of California must match their current salaries or they will not come. As much as I love living in Southern California, I could not have afforded to leave Duke University if it meant taking a substantial pay cut.
I'm with him through all of that (naturally). If you think California benefits from having someone who is one of the 100 most influential people in corporate governance doing award winning teaching at a public university, you're going to have to accept UCLA paying something near market price.
But then we come to this little nugget:
Nor is there reason to believe that there are significant wasteful expenditures within the UC system.
Sorry, Erwin, but you just went off the rails. The UC Merced campus was an unnecessary financial burden. And speaking of unnecessary UC programs, your law school at UC Irvine was documented to be completely unnecessary.