We Afford Excellence?
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UCLA is one of the most successful
campuses in terms of raising private dollars. But some may say that
because we do so well, maybe more of the state money should go to
other UC campuses.
It’s not fair to say that state money should be diverted to
other campuses. That would be a disincentive for UCLA to be a fantastic
fund-raiser. There is a reason that UCLA is so successful. People
feel an emotional connection to UCLA; it truly is the university
that has been the equal-opportunity giver, and many people are very
grateful for what they’ve received so they give back.
I don’t think people have the impression that UCLA
is so incredibly rich because it raises money or because one wealthy
benefactor makes a significant donation. The problem, really, is
what to do when the state is truly not capable of maintaining the
level of support that it’s given in the past, like this year,
and how do we handle that in terms of maintaining the university’s
excellence? We can maintain the UC system as a world-class institution
by making certain that we get every dollar that’s on the table:
every state dollar, every private dollar, every research dollar
and in bad times, unfortunately, a few more dollars in student fees.”
Whether we are talking about fund-raising or fee increases or enrollment
growth or the need to build more buildings, the bottom line is that
this is an important time for higher education in general, and UC
and UCLA specifically. Your voices must be heard.
Magazine senior writer Marina Dundjerski
’94 contributed to this article.