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Two Essays

Many states are facing budget deficits and increasing demands on public resources. California leads with way with a budget deficit that registered at $34.8 billion as of January 2003 (Alemozafar 2003). California Governor Gray DavisÆ proposals to remedy the situation include a planned $10.2 billion cut in education funding for 2003 and 2004, with $350 million being diverted from public colleges and universities in 2003 alone (Alemozafar 2003). These cuts are in addition to cuts that were enacted in 2002. The University of California system already lost $184 in funding for fiscal 2002 and faces another $74 million in cuts under the new proposal (Alemozafar 2003). Such reductions in funding represent a number of significant challenges for higher education in California.

One challenge of these cuts pertains to maintaining quality of education. Such cuts in already strapped university systems will make retaining quality instructors more challenging. So too, they will make it more difficult to provide students and instructors with the resources necessary to provide a quality education, such as state-of-the-art technologies and professional guest speakers. To this end Governor DavisÆ proposal did ôprotect instructional programsö according to UC system spokesperson Brad Hayward, but many express concern that DavisÆ recent cut is only the start of a ôseveral-year decline in resources for California educationö (Alemozafar 2003, 1-2).

Another major impact from the budget cuts will affect the ability of studentÆs to pay for an education. Because of the proposed budget cuts, the UC Board of Regents has already been asked to approve a per-semester increase in student tuition fees of $135 system-wide (Alemozafar 2003). Professional school fees would increase more, anywhere from $150 to $400 per quarter on top of the system-wide increase (Alemozafar 2003). The proposed budget of President Bush also worries higher education of...

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