Q&A is an irregular series on SOTA which will pose a question to a small group of faculty, staff or students from different campuses and compile their responses. If you would like to respond to the question, please do so in the comments section of this post or email email@example.com. Here is the first SOTA Q&A:
Q: How are you balancing the need for efficiency in your programs with the recognition that the arts cannot fit into an efficiency model?
A: Peter Krapp (UCI) – Efficiency does not have to be defined by corporate metrics. UC is a global leader in research, education, and service. Why can’t we
stop making important what corporate managers consider measurable, and start making measurable what is important?
There seem to be too few people in positions of influence at UCOP who have any significant experience on a UC main campus teaching undergraduates. Appropriate metrics need to be developed by faculty who are fully engaged in, and familiar with, the core mission.
A: Brett Stalbaum (UCSD) – The arts can and often do fit into an “efficiency model”, that they don’t is a canard that we largely impose on ourselves when we nod in agreement with the president. UC Administrators regularly fail to take into account that all enrolled students bring in the same state funds, and especially with fees increasing in recent years, departments such as English and Literature are cash cows because the students themselves don’t use nearly the same capital intensive infrastructure as students in the sciences do. Further, humanities and social science departments tend to have heavier teaching loads and lower salaries! The president’s assumption is almost certainly false, but don’t expect robust apples to apples efforts to correctly quantify any of these questions to come from UCOP. This president is not an honest player.