California and Texas don’t see each other on many issues. Elected officials in the two states often express opposing views on economic development, taxes, climate change, social equality, gun control, and more.
But there is at least one problem that affects the economic growth aspirations of both states, if California would be wise to look at Texas and, frankly, follow his example: public funding for higher education and the associated investment model.
Decades ago, Texas began implementing a new strategy. The state laid out significantly expand their financial share in higher education institutions, including new research universities, to enhance their position and influence, while increasing access to degrees among the least served in the state. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Council allowed more postgraduate programs to be added to their public institutions at a time when Golden State was still praising the legislation that created California Master Plan for Higher Education, which limited the expansion of graduate degrees in public universities. Texas also introduced specific public fundsincluding the Texas Research Incentive Program and the National Research University Foundation, specifically to encourage private industry to invest in new research universities.
While Texas acknowledged that changing conditions require a more agile approach to higher education policy, and used a number of legislative actions – and continues to do so– To introduce a different way of funding their government institutions and university research, Golden State remained comparable. This is largely due to the dated master plan of California, signed in 1960.
Over the decades, the California Master Plan has built a more segmented and stratified system of higher education. The University of California’s high ranking system ranks exclusive jurisdiction for the award of doctoral degrees is a cornerstone not only to stimulate innovative research, but also to train the workforce to meet the increasingly complex demands of industry. Meanwhile, the much larger California university system of which my institution is a part, the University of San Diego, offers very few candidates. degrees, all of which, under state law, require a UC or private partner.
So what does this mean functionally? This means that for the past 60 years, with few exceptions, the only way the state’s largest and most diverse four-year university system can offer a doctorate is through a joint program where students must enroll in both institutions at different stages of their life. work, and with the fact that taking the CSU campus financial compensation to your UC or private partner at almost every turn.
This barrier is often unknown or neglected to most at UC, where I have been both a teacher and an administrator for 16 years. It is not always difficult to find UC faculty willing to collaborate with CSU to offer a joint doctoral program. But if we look at what it takes to harness this willingness of teachers to create a new collaborative program, all too often it stops with administrative and financial barriers that would not exist under a single model. Or, as is increasingly the case, the program cannot advance because the subject matter expertise at CSU simply has no equal at any UC or private university. A good example: California’s industry requires more PhDs in manufacturing. San Diego has high-level programs in the field, and faculty members are committed to opening their doors to doctoral students. But without a willing and capable partner they can’t do it. And no UC has expressed interest in the Ph.D. for a degree so “labor” is concentrated. It is not in their mission and not in the interests of the teachers.
So why does this inequality in academic freedom prevail for CSU faculty, even if California would have more access to a more highly skilled and competitive workforce?
The California Higher Education Code strengthens its master plan at all levels, from requiring legislative action whenever the CSU campus proposes to offer an independent doctorate to ensure that CSU campuses do not receive differential funding for their graduate or research studies. This creates a widespread fear of innovation in the CSU. As a result, only two independent professional doctoral degrees have been allowed for the entire CSU system in the last six years: occupational therapy (2019) and audiology (2016). The threat of veto by the UC system and subsequent financial penalties by the CSU are very serious.
California has created a monopolized marketplace where most doctoral degrees are limited to students who are mobile enough to move to urban centers where most UCs or private high-end campuses are located. The state has long used the existence of a joint degree program as a scalable solution to this problem: various CSU students can access PhDs. and other highly qualified training through partnerships of their government systems. However, he is doing his best not to stimulate this path. The state funding and investment model ensures that only the UC system will receive funding to increase the cost of graduate programs. Only the UC should receive funding in excess of the cost of providing a bachelor’s degree, in support of its research. Should the CSU campus want to collaborate to offer its students a degree? It should also be paid by UC or a private partner, not the other way around. All of this is true, despite the fact that many California universities, such as San Diego, are unmatched in the diversity of graduate students they serve. About 35 percent of our undergraduate and doctoral students are underrepresented minority students.
To date, the master plan has failed to create incentives for strategic investment in research and doctoral training programs in areas where there is the greatest need for growth, such as the Imperial Valley and the Inner Empire. California’s focus on doctoral institutions in more affluent regions has exacerbated access to education and economic inequality. If we look at the huge concentration of dollars on research in California, they are concentrated in only five institutions: the University of California, San Francisco ($ 1.7 billion); University of California, San Diego ($ 1.4 billion); University of California, Los Angeles ($ 1.4 billion); University of California, Berkeley ($ 840 million); and the University of California at Davis ($ 817 million).
There may be two things: 1) Investing in excellence is a smart choice for California. 2) Actively identifying barriers that prevent or directly prevent others from achieving and offering the same benefits are detrimental to all of California, and especially to those regions that are already at a disadvantage.
At one time, the California Master Plan was hailed as a vision for the future of higher education. Many directly benefited from both the efficiency and the access he provided in the 1960s when he served California has a population of 15.7 million, and only 8 percent of the population identify themselves as non-white. However, today California is almost 40 million people live here, with an increasingly diverse population. We are tasked with educating tthree million college and university students which are much more diverse and require a more student-centered educational system. Their success is paramount to maintaining the economic competitiveness of the state.
UC and CSU systems should innovation. We need to move away from models of the past that categorically served another California. We need to create a more accessible, competitive and responsive higher education system.
Texas can give us good examples of funding models that create greater opportunities for equity and innovation in their systems, and it recognizes the impact of labor investment in all regions of the state. With strategic foresight, Texas has developed research incentive programs, industry-related funding programs, and other initiatives specifically for support low-income colored students and students, no matter what government system they studied. They also rightly decided to diversify research and economic opportunities for institutions across the state. Today, several state and government agencies allocating land in Texas offer at least one doctoral program, and many have seen incredible growth in their research portfolios and ability to provide external and federal funding to support this work. Many also have medical schools and schools of related medical sciences. Such ongoing investments and incentives offer some of the most promising ways to build social capital and economic mobility in the same way that cities across California are demanding today.
In such a highly competitive and rapidly changing world, we owe it to future generations to do our utmost to introduce new models that enable us to meet the needs of this moment and our future.