Trustees | Costs

Universities must cut back

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE   |  August 19, 2013 by Daniel Burnett

As college graduates nationwide grapple with overwhelming debt, the higher education elite are living it up with first-class airfare, limousine rides and posh hotel stays.

The Center for Investigative Reporting found six of the 17 academic deans at UCLA’s Westwood campus used doctors’ notes to skirt a policy against flying first class, racking up an additional $234,000 in flight costs (“UCLA costs for airfare go sky-high,” Aug. 4). Add in $724-per-night hotel stays in Key Largo, $842 limousine rides and $665 town car trips in England, and it’s easy to see why tuition is on rise.

Tuition across the board at UC increased by at least $5,000 in five years. At UCLA, tuition jumped from $7,277 to $12,686 from 2007 to 2012, according to the report “Best Laid Plans: The Unfulfilled Promise of Public Higher Education in California.”

Yes, travel is absolutely essential and comes with the territory. But so does an ethical responsibility to the students. It’s time that universities – especially public universities – cut back like the rest of Americans. Our educational system is our greatest hope for future economic success. But the system isn’t working when the only options for admission are to be born wealthy or to saddle yourself with crushing student loans.


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