UC President Takes Heat Over Hikes And Cuts The University of California has raised tuition by 32 percent, reduced employee salaries 4 to 10 percent and curtailed freshman enrollment among other actions. Students have staged angry protests, even picketing the home of UC President Mark Yudof. Host Scott Simon talks to Yudof about the effects of the recession on the 10-campus UC system.
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UC President Takes Heat Over Hikes And Cuts

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UC President Takes Heat Over Hikes And Cuts

UC President Takes Heat Over Hikes And Cuts

UC President Takes Heat Over Hikes And Cuts

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The University of California has raised tuition by 32 percent, reduced employee salaries 4 to 10 percent and curtailed freshman enrollment among other actions. Students have staged angry protests, even picketing the home of UC President Mark Yudof. Host Scott Simon talks to Yudof about the effects of the recession on the 10-campus UC system.

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

Mr. President, thanks very much for being with us.

MARK YUDOF: Thank you for inviting me.

SIMON: University of California system has raised - they don't say tuition - fees, by 32 percent.

YUDOF: Yes, sir.

SIMON: Reduced employee salaries, curtailed freshman enrollment. That invites the question: How does that square with the mission of a public university?

YUDOF: So it's not a trajectory we can stay on forever, and I think ultimately it may hurt the middle class more than the low income students. There's more financial aid available to them.

SIMON: For low income students, yeah.

YUDOF: But it's really the best we can do under very difficult circumstances.

SIMON: You enjoyed such a distinguished background at the University of Texas, University of Minnesota before that. Would you have taken the California job if you'd known this was ahead?

YUDOF: But I think I would've taken the job. And you get to hang out with really great people. We have great students. Now, it has its trying moments sometimes with a demonstration here or there, but it's a fabulous job and I'm really glad to be there.

SIMON: What's your vision for the University of California system five years from now?

YUDOF: They wake up in Sacramento and say that, you know, it's - you need prisons and you need to take care of your prison population. We need public safety. But that's not going to make us competitive around the world, for having the best prison system. We need to cultivate the idea...

SIMON: To finish your sentence - the implication being that University of California education system will make it competitive...

YUDOF: Will make a competitive difference.

SIMON: Yeah.

YUDOF: Because it's like your seed corn, is what I was going to say. You need the human infrastructure. California and in general this nation will never be the low cost employer. It will never be a deregulated economy. We care about lots of things. I mean who wants to cut out dental care for low income people? That's a horrible result. But in the end, you have to grow the economy and it seems to me education is the smart bet to do that.

SIMON: Mark Yudof, president of the University of California. Thanks so much.

YUDOF: Thank you, sir.

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