As the UCLA Anderson School of Management prepares to move toward financial self-sufficiency from the state, the school held a town hall meeting with students and faculty on Monday to discuss final pros and cons of the proposal.
About 120 people came to listen, and students seemed largely in support of the self-sufficiency initiative.
The meeting aimed to present both sides of the proposal, under which Anderson would receive no funding from UCLA and would raise all of its funds independently, said Kimberlina McKinney, Graduate Students Association vice president of Academic Affairs.
“We never want to be one-sided, especially with important decisions like this, and we also want to incite discussion and allow students to contribute their opinions,” McKinney said.
Anderson Dean Judy Olian is the leader of the initiative to separate Anderson financially from public funds, and she said the new system will make fund allocation more flexible and help the school increase the amount of money it receives from donations.
Currently, only 6 percent of Anderson’s funding is provided by the state, while the remainder is covered by donations, student fees and endowment. The move to self-sufficiency would only require that Anderson increase donation efforts, Olian said.
Although Anderson Professor Avanidhar Subrahmanyam agreed that there would be potential benefits to the change, he argued that there were potential risks that had not been properly analyzed, including student fee increases and a decrease in the funding that legislators allocate to UCLA. He is also part of the Academic Senate, which advised against the proposal in its report to Chancellor Gene Block on Nov. 1.
Bob Samuels, an instructor in the UCLA writing program, echoed Subrahmanyam’s concerns about the potential decrease in funding UCLA would experience if the proposal passed.
“My particular concern is that the state funds UCLA by the number of students it has. If we lose (money allocated to) the Anderson students, we might get less money, and student fees would have to go up again,” he said.
Currently, Block is looking the proposal over and considering the advice of the Academic Senate, after which he will present it to the UC Board of Regents as early as its meeting today, McKinney said.
Although some students said that they were uneducated about both sides of the issue and came to the forum to learn more, others said they supported the proposal because it could potentially increase the school’s national ranking.
“The proposal gives us more flexibility with hiring faculty. We’re all about attracting good intellectual capital, and this provides for more flexibility for our programs,” Anderson graduate student Kevin Morris said.
Students, who expressed concern about the declining ratings for the Anderson full-time master’s in business administration program, said the change might help counter the ratings drop because it would place increased emphasis on the master’s program.
“It allows us not to be subject to the whims of where the school wants to put its money,” Anderson graduate student Ryan Jaleh said.