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UCLA Magazine Spring 2005
From Murphy Hall
Living La Vida 'Lorca'
Stress Fractures
What's at Stake
The Importance of Being Elma
House of Cards
The Quest
Through Women's Eyes
Dynamic Duo
Bruin Walk

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Spring 2005
What's at Stake

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Garrett: Something that’s often raised in the public is the question of whether we should accept that, while it’s wonderful to have very good public universities, perhaps we don’t need to have great public universities. Maybe being good is good enough. Is good “good enough” for the University of California?

Samueli: No, absolutely not acceptable. If we want to maintain and enhance the quality of life we have here in the State of California, we must have the best universities. We need excellence, and we have to strive to be the best, not second best, in terms of having the best public university system, the best overall university system. [Being] the best attracts the best talent, which in turn creates the innovation that translates into creating jobs, creating industries, creating wealth. It is a circle that feeds on itself — wealth creation translates into philanthropy that comes back to the university. It’s a cycle that builds. But if you break the link in that chain and things start to crumble, you end up being mediocre or average. And this state can’t afford to be average.

Furutani: If we at UCLA or within the University of California start relegating our dreams and visions to being mediocre … then I think we have serious problems.

Garrett: Other states have in the past 20 years confronted similar crises in public higher education. The University of Michigan in the 1980s, with the agreement of the governor and the Legislature, made the tacit determination that the Michigan economy was not strong enough to support a world-class university. Rather than let the university suffer, they opened the university to students from other states and other countries. Today, more than one-third of the undergraduates of the University of Michigan come from outside the state and pay essentially the market price for tuition, not subsidized by the state. I don’t think Californians would accept that approach.

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2005 The Regents of the University of California