According to the 2011-12 report on the UC system’s private support, funding from private donors has risen over the past decade. In 2008-09, UC received $1.3 billion in private funding. In 2010-11, it received $1.58 billion.
This is good news for the UC system for obvious reasons. Support from private donors can help the UC provide funding for undergraduate, graduate and research programs, along with funding for UC-wide infrastructure. It is heartening to know that there are those who still believe in the UC system and want to support it.
However, there are some serious issues that could arise from the UC becoming dependent on private funding.
First, private donors can dictate how the money is spent. If an individual wants a specific building built with their money, the UC will build that building. If a company donates to a certain project, this could sway what researchers choose to study.
Furthermore, while it is great that private funding has increased, we would rather see state funding increase. UC should not depend on a small number of individuals; rather, the state should make more efforts to continue to provide funding to the system.
The passage of Proposition 30 was important for the UC system, but it did not provide more money for schools, it merely stopped further cuts.
We would like to see increased state funding for the UC system. As a public institution, UC should be receiving the majority of its funding from the people of California and the state should be rethinking California’s priorities when it comes to spending. Education should be regarded as a top priority.
Although state legislatures have cited the UC Regents’ mismanagement of funds as a reason for disinvestment in the UC, we still feel nothing can change without state funding.