New op-ed: How Newsom could create a new golden era for higher education

On Dec. 7, 2018, CALMatters published an op-ed from Dick Ackerman and Mel Levine, co-chairs of the California Coalition for Public Higher Education, titled, “How Newsom could create a new golden era for higher education.” Here’s an excerpt:

Pat Brown was a true champion of higher education, but Jerry Brown has never made support for the University of California or the Cal State system a big part of his agenda.

Now, incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom has the potential to pick up the mantle and, once again, make higher education a top state priority.

Californians get it.  A new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California found that most voters say that there is not enough state funding for higher education.  Three-quarters of the electorate believes that higher education should be a high priority for our new governor.

Newsom has said that a significant increase in the investment in higher education is high on his agenda. With the state’s fiscal health in good shape, that should be possible.

The article concludes:

Boosting higher education funding would be a good start. But the new governor should address the future of our public higher education system and its integral role in the well-being of all Californians.

There is much to be done:

* Restore per-student state funding to traditional levels.

* Assure a stable, ongoing revenue flow from the state that will enable our higher education institutions to plan and grow responsibly.

* Make a long-term commitment for new classrooms, laboratories, faculty offices, technology and other infrastructure needs that will reverse years of neglect and provide state of the art facilities on our campuses.

* Harness new technology to enhance the educational experience, increase productivity and provide additional avenues for more Californians to access our higher education system.

If Gov. Newsom and Legislature, in concert with the leadership of UC, CSU and the community colleges—seriously tackle these challenges, the Newsom years could become a new golden age for California higher education.

Read the complete op-ed on the CALMatters website.