Archive » September 27, 2007
Letters to the Editor
By MJ Staff
Dear Ward Connerly,
Many conservatives have been un-invited from speaking on college campuses or have been heckled by students and faculty alike when they have appeared on campus. An accessible compilation of such events would make the one-sidedness of these occurrences obvious, perhaps even in the mind (heart) of a liberal.
Submitted via www.montecitojournal.net
(Publisher’s note: The recent Iranian President Achtungi’mcompletelymad! affair at Columbia may actually have awakened the general public to the campus problem that many of those on the right hand side of the aisle have been commenting upon for years; nevertheless, we shall pass this on to Mr. Connerly for action – TLB)
Thank you very much for including me in the "Montecito Diary" (montecitojournal.net/archive/13/35/1320/) and with such generous words. [My meteor-viewing flight] was a great success and people will be analyzing the results for several months and using them for years.
All very good wishes from me and my all-time-favorite all-American-girl.
What a nice article you wrote about the Bill Blass New York Collection! (MJ #13/37) Thank you so much for the kind words!
(Publisher’s Note: We hope your trunk show went well! - TLB)
A Bloated UC System
Everyone who knows me will attest that I am not likely to agree with Ward Connerly on many matters. But his remarks in last week’s Montecito Journal about the administrators of the University of California are dead on and should be read by everyone. As a UC regent for many years, Connerly knows what he is talking about. I started teaching at UC in 1959 and was at UCSB from 1965 to 2001 but I first woke up to the shortcomings of the UC administration when I was elected County Supervisor in 1972. During the next four years I was amazed at how accountable every action of county government was and how every penny of the budget was published, negotiated, scrutinized, and debated endlessly in public by both county staff and outside agencies like the Taxpayers Association. In contrast, I realized that our UC campus administration was bloated, overpaid, under-worked (or flubbing around with paperwork that had nothing to do with either teaching or research), largely incompetent, and worst of all, growing every year at over twice the rate of the faculty.
And they protected their vested interest with a combination of secrecy and arrogance. No faculty oversight could penetrate the mysteries of budget creation or determine the rationale of asset distribution except to realize that instruction and research, the only true functions of a university, regularly took a back seat to the care and feeding of the bureaucracy. And when faculty questioned decisions of the administration they were ignored or told it was none of their business.
Later I was privileged to teach at Princeton, arguably one of the top two universities in the US. Colleagues there laughed at my amazement at how well Princeton could get along with one tenth the administration of a public university. They explained that their alumni and other donors would never keep their multi-billion endowment growing if the money were spent on hapless paper pushers and former second-rate faculty who chose to migrate into administration for less demanding and higher paid duties.
If I had to recommend one single step to improve the accountability of the UC administration I would mandate that the budget process be thrashed out in public, like the county budget, in order that the bureaucrats would be forced to justify their top-heavy autocracy every year.
Professor of history, emeritus UCSB, former First District County Supervisor
(Publisher’s Note: Wow; that is some indictment! Ward will be pleased to have garnered your support. At Montecito State University Bozeman, where I attended College, our history professors doubled up as counselors to save on administrative costs. The entire history department counseled itself and probably saved the school hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. The policy turned out to be a great way to force kids to meet with their professors on a more personal level.
It is bizarre that the public via tax dollars pays for much of the UC system but has absolutely no say in what it does. UCSB grows every year with little regard for the negative impact that growth has on surrounding communities. Every time I drive through its campus, I see more and more parking garages and faculty/student housing. If tax dollars are helping to pay for the construction one way or another, the public should have a place to argue its budgetary decisions. Thank you for your informed and insightful letter. – TLB)
Thanks For The Memories
I’ve been spending my summer vacation in Islamabad, Pakistan, and was desperate for some good hometown reading; luckily someone with close ties to President Musharraf found this copy of Montecito Journal that was about to be recycled. Man, I just couldn’t get enough of your Montecito Round-Up, especially here in Rawalpindi, next to Pakistani Army General Headquarters.
Thanks again for putting out such a fine little paper. Can’t wait to get home.
(Editor’s note: Bill asked us not to use his last name; he says he’d like to leave Pakistan in one piece – TLB)
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