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Memories of Powell
What Price Glory?

University Communications

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What Price Glory?
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So far, the reaction of leaders of UC, CSU and state policymakers alike is to "study the problem." The studies vary in their specific projections, but not their overall conclusions. "California appears to be in a state of denial," says a report by Santa Monica-based RAND. "Budgets are no longer considered from the perspective of what is required to support the needs of the state's higher education sector, but rather of how much of the budget is left to be spent on it." RAND predicts that in 2010 nearly 1 million California students who are qualified to go to college under the prevailing Master Plan will be shut out either because there will be no space for them or they will be unable to afford the costs.

Patrick Callan, executive director of the Higher Education Policy Center, a San Jose-based think tank, advises all those concerned about the future of higher education in California to wake up. "Everyone will have to make extraordinary efforts immediately or we will lose higher education," he warns. "Ten years from now, we'll be talking about the crisis in higher education the same way we talk about our failing K-12 schools today."

James Richardson, a senior writer with The Sacramento Bee, is the author of the recently published Willie Brown: A Biography.

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