Birgeneau: UC Berkeley morphing into a federal university

UC Berkeley: more federal than state funding. Photo: Tracey Taylor.

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau believes UC Berkeley is effectively morphing from a state university into a federal one as it receives more of its money from the federal government and less from Sacramento.

In an interview with California Watch, Birgeneau talked about the need to rethink Cal’s role in light of its changing dynamic.

Birgeneau first voiced this idea publicly at a conference on campus earlier this month when he said: “We have gone from a state-supported university to a state-located university in a remarkably short period of time, and we are trying madly to adjust.”

This year federal research funds accounted for $500 million of the university’s income with student fees bringing in $315 million and about the same again from private philanthropy. State funds are down to $300 million and will be slashed again next year after the cuts proposed by Governor Jerry Brown are implemented. This compares sharply with the situation Birgeneau inherited when he became Chancellor six years ago when the major funding – about $450 million – came from the state.

Read the full story on California Watch.

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  • Lindsey

    The not publicly discussed goal for UCB is to privatize. So cuts in state funding can only help them in justifying going in that direction.

  • JAS

    Sorry Lindsey, the last thing UCB wants is to do is privatize. It’s not equipped for it and it’s not what it stands for. If the state would only bloody well rethink its priorities, they would realize the vast economic engine of California is driven by its graduates.

  • Reform the bad senior management and vice-chancellors at the University of California Berkeley. Qualified California students are denied admission to Cal because Chancellor Birgeneau ($500,000 salary) has increased out of state students by 20%..
    Chancellor Birgeneau and vice-chancellor Yeary stone wall Operational Excellence (OE) from investigating the Chancellor’s office.
    Yes, the university is in dire financial straits. Yet $3 million was somehow found by Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau ($500,000 salary) to pay the consulting firm to uncover waste, inefficiencies in UC Berkeley (Cal), despite the fact that a prominent East Coast university was accomplishing the same thing without expensive consultants.
    Reform the bad leadership at the University of California Berkeley

  • JAS

    Amen to Transparency…working on this campus right now is like being cast adrift in a ship with no rudder and no captain. Resurrect Chancellor Tien…he’s who we need right now.

  • (Cal. (UC Berkeley) ranking tumbles from 2nd best. The reality of UC Berkeley relative decline is clear. In 2004, for example, the London-based Times Higher Education ranked UC Berkeley the second leading research university in the world, just behind Harvard; in 2009 that ranking had tumbled to 39th place. By 2011 the ranking had not returned to 2nd best) University of California,