California Spending on Prisons and Higher Education | Los Angeles Live 10-4-17

Welcome to Los Angeles music Center
and California live! I am Cloey
Hewlett Executive Director of the
Cal Alumni Association and I am
really overjoyed to be with you
tonight and absolutely delighted
to see so many Southern California
Cal alumni and friends. I want you to know how important
it is that you are supporting the
best — events like this that
encourage open dialogue and cutting-edge
cutting edge issues.
Tonight’s theme, “A Matter of Degree: California Spending on
Prisons and Higher Education” .”
I know you share my anticipation about
having this is steamed group of
panelists here to help us navigate
through this complex and significant
issue. A number of you have already
submitted questions to our panelists
online. Some of you may also be
completing question cards tonight.
Our staff members will be collecting
these as you finish. The panelist will answer a
number of these questions during the
latter half of our discussion.
I’m sure you’ve noticed
cameras present. We are
broadcasting tonight’s discussion
LIVE on the Cal Alumni Association’s
YouTube channel. A recording
will also Public Policy
YouTube channel. Our moderator for tonight’s world-class
panel is our own Cal alumna Kim
Baldonado. [Applause] As many of you are aware, Kim Baldonado,
class of ’87, is a veteran
journalist for NBC 4 in Los Angeles,
and has. No less then six Emmy awards for
her work.
[Cheers and Applause] We are
very fortunate to have Kim
moderating tonight’s and
gentlemen, please welcome Kim Baldonado.
[Applause] Kim Baldonado:
Thank you very much Cloey and we have
all shared some great stories so
I appreciate everyone navigating
to get here. I want to introduce our esteemed
panel starting with Robert Birgeneau
on my left.
He is the ninth Chancellor of UC Berkeley
and in internationally
distinguished physicist who is not
one to shy away from speaking out
on social issues. During his
time as chancellor, Berkeley
became the 1st university to offer
comprehensive financial aid to
undocumented students[Applause] and the 1st public
university to provide significant
financial aid to middle class
students. In addition to his academic and
research work, Bob, along with
teams of experts in education,
policy, business, and
philanthropy, has dedicated his time and
energy to the Lincoln Project, which
has been evaluating the
government’s role in funding higher
education and has come up with
recommendations for ensuring
affordability, access, and the
maintenance of high standards at the
nation’s public colleges and
universities. We will be hearing more about
the Lincoln Project a bit
later in the program. And I also want to add
[inaudible]. [Applause] STEVEN
RAPHAEL received his PhD in
economics from UC Berkeley and
is a professor with the
Goldman School of Public
Policy. Steve, who is a research
fellow at the National Bureau of
Economic Research, the California Policy
Lab, the University of Michigan National
Poverty Center, the University
of Chicago Crime Lab, IZA, Bonn
Germany, and the Public Policy
Institute of research interests
that include labor, urban
economics, and criminal justice
policy. His most recent research
focuses on the social costs of
the nation’s large incarceration
rates and racial disparities in
criminal justice outcomes. He’s
one of the co-authors of the
book “Why Are So Many Americans
in Prison?” CAROL LIU served in the California
Assembly from 2000- 2006 and the CA Senate
from 2008 – 2016. As a state
legislator, her focus included public
education, poverty, and criminal justice
reform, with the belief that
all three are linked. Prior to
getting into politics, she earned
teaching and administrative
credentials from UC Berkeley and
spent 17 years working in public
schools. She is also a Cal Alumni
Association Board Member. As
you can see, our panel is incredibly
knowledgeable on tonight’s
topic. It’s a very complex
discussion, so I’m eager for
them to share their knowledge
with us on how this trend of divesting
from higher education got
started, why it continues, and what
can be done about it. A little bit of background, Forty years ago,
California spent more than three
times as much on funding a
student in the public higher education
system than it did on a prisoner.
Today, more than $70,000 is spent
per inmate per year, while about
$8,000 is spent on a UC student,
and around $7,000 on a Cal
State student. I remember taking a
Sociology of Education class at Cal
and learning about the state’s
Master Plan for Higher Education. It
was created in 1960 with the lofty
goal of offering higher
education to any state resident who
wanted it. In 1974, it was providing
nearly one third of total
revenues for higher ed, but it’s
now only 12%, which obviously
puts a strain on the
universities and on the students.
I’d like to start by asking Bob to
talk briefly about what
factors started CA on the
trend of divesting in higher
education. Then I’d like to hear
from Steven on what policy
changes during that same time
drove the state to start
investing heavily in prisons. Bob?
Robert Birgeneau: So one of the things — let me
give the background and set context
. One of the great supporters and
myself had dinner with at that time
the President of the American of
sciences and a fund raising effort on
the domestic park and I was
sitting there in 2010- 2011 and [inaudible] [Laughing]
And so we were talking and the American
Academy has people from all 50 states
and said you are not alone and then
we decided to put together group
of business people, academics and
one of the things that we discovered
was that there were many states
where the deficit was larger than
it had been in California so this
is not a uniquely California phenomenon
and it’s quite important to understand
because it’s too easy to put the
blame, or to say you can blame if
you want. [Laughing]
But in fact, it’s actually not going
to fault and one of the reasons
that we did is we met with Paul
and everybody wanted to blame Scott
Walker and I was in the odd position
of saying please stop blaming Scott
Walker Walker. You had a left wing Democrat
empower it would be the same situation
so it has nothing to do with
Scott Walker and more conservative
Republican approach approach.
It has to do with the reality and
challenges that state governments
are facing. Maybe we will talk more and I
can elaborate.
But one of the things that’s very
important to understand is that
the investment in higher education
is involving many complex factors
and one of which is that one thing
we learned is nationally that funding
of higher — higher education [inaudible] [inaudible] 141 141 percent. And there are about 10 states
[inaudible] Kim Baldonado:
Where did that start of investing
so heavily in prisons and why? Robert Birgeneau:
The number of people that end up in
any state prison system is quite
simply a fund of how many we send
their and how long they will be
there. And those two factors basically
are determined by your sentencing
practice ,
so sentencing is the tail that wags
prison dogs and what happened in
California is also happened in other
states that we use to incarcerate
people at the weight of about 100
per 100,000 and like many other
states we introduced a series of
sentencing reforms that made it
much more difficult to release somebody
earlier than their original sentence.
We passed a series of laws that mandated
mandatory minimums for specific
crimes whether it was firearms or
drug offenses, we passed a lot of
laws that added a whole bunch of
enhancements for different aspects
of crimes and like many other states
we passed laws that said people
that commit a felony have to serve
at least 80 percent of their sentence
and not surprisingly and at the same time, we sort of
expanded the definition of crimes that
we deemed worthy of prison
sentence and started sending more
people to prisons and then they were
there for longer and as a result the
prison population grew from 100 per
100,000 to almost 475 per 100,000 in
2007 or 2008.
End entirely that was not really driven
by changes to funding. There was an increase in
violence during the 1980’s and from
1990 onwards we’d had a steep to
crime — steep decline in crimes and
we are at historically low levels
in the United States and
California but our policy still reflects
sort of severe sentencing, use
prison liberally and I don’t mean
that as an Jerry Brown liberally,
but use it a lot.
Sentencing regime, which has recently
changed in California as a result
of this population. Kim Baldonado:
What was going on in the ’80s and
90s that led to that. I know there was an academic in
California, but why suddenly become so
tough on crime?
Maybe Carol can address this and why
were the so much pressure to pass
these laws? Carol Liu:
People were still intolerant of drugs
and drug use and it was a national
program to allow drugs and the people
who were involved were either users
or people who perpetrated a crime
to get the money et cetera and put
these folks in jail. It’s very interesting, when I
was in the Senate, I was in the
Senate in 2008, and in 2016, a group
of us went to Portugal to take a
look at how they deal with their
drug policy and the Portuguese treat
their drug users as a health problem,
not a criminal problem. So that was in a New York Times
article may be two weeks ago that
really relieved their system from
incarcerating so many people.
So California interesting enough passed
a couple of initiatives that they
have seen it’s not cost effective
to with drug users as a crime and
as we’ve been slowly moving to try
to treat drug users as a health
issue, but we have not built the
steps to do this. Kim Baldonado:
In the late ’80s California Maia
you may remember voted for mandatory
aid funding for K-12 so it means
it takes a huge chunk of the budget
no matter what basically and Carol
you said this means there will always
be a battle between public education
are higher education and the prison
system fighting for what is left.
How much of a role does that play.
Carol Liu: It’s a huge role so you’ll prop
98 that guarantees — as a
consequence to prop 98 is that more than
half the budget goes through K-14
including the two years of college us.
And then you have health and human
services and the obligation that
we need to meet in order to give
them equal amounts of dollars from
the feds and then you are left with
transportation, infrastructure so
you are left fighting between higher
Ed and public safety. And for a long time, at least 15
years, that fight has culminated and not
necessarily we spend an incredible
amount of money now it’s about 9 percent
of the general fund budget on public
safety, 12 percent on higher Ed,
but higher Ed is divided between
the three segments University of
California NC issues who are totally
dependent upon general fund monies
and the community colleges augmenting
also the two years that they get
from Prop 98 and the UC system .
So, you know, it is spread pretty
thin and the UC’s have seen they
have seen a decline in the number
of dollars dedicated to their folks.
Kim Baldonado: We talked briefly about this
before about the role of unions in
salaries and pensions and why that
takes a toll and can you talk
briefly about that and what role that
plays and prison systems getting
On average we spend about $70,000
per inmate, roughly 40 40 percent
of it or so is deemed security cost,
much of it is labor cost. Another third is medical cost
for inmates and then the rest are
administrative costs, very little has to do
with feeding and maintaining as individuals
and rehabilitative programs and
that’s our budget. We are high relative to other
states. The average across states is
around 40.
Some states are as low as 60,000 and
the main difference frankly, is
the states with very, very large
populations and overcrowded prisons
that have on unionized workers and
the states that have higher pay
states and as a result you spend
more per inmate. Kim Baldonado:
And the ’80s and ’90s you talked
about the increase putting more
people away for more crimes and
longer and has there been a reverse
of that trend lately. Talk about the referendums on
court rulings that developed as a
result of overcrowding.
>>: Sure so the history you know, at
the time that Californians prison
population was increasing to 107,000 plus
inmates the rate and capacity of the
states was about 80,000 beds.
So at one point we had a population
relative to the capacity of the
Institute and there was a series
of actually two very well-known
lawsuits that were filed on behalf
of inmates that were alleging that
the state was not providing adequate
mental health care and medical care.
This resulted in you know, a three-judge
federal panel ordering the state
to reduce its prison populations
and in 2011 the Supreme Court affirmed
the ruling of the lower court that
the state had to do something. So the state passed in 2011
Assembly Bill 109 that’s a corrections
realignment and basically what it did is
it transferred a lot of
responsibilities down to the counties for less
serious offenses for punishing people
and their alternative sanctions in
county jail not state prisons and for
people that are leaving prison rather
than being a ward of state parole
with the possibility of re- being
revoked back to prison for technical
violation. If they didn’t have a serious or
violent offense on their criminal
history they became basically the sort
of responsibility responsibility
for legal — local and county
probation who when violated would be
punished with the local sanction so
relatively quickly we saw a prison
population drop by about 30,000 people
but then we saw an offsetting
increase in jails.
And then the other big reform, there’s
a few others, but in 2014 the voters
passed proposition 47 which took
a bunch of crimes that are commonly
referred to as crimes like the NMU
charges of felony or misdemeanor
and most of them were drug offenses
and also some property crimes and
defined them down. And what that led to was
immediate decline in the bookings in
county jail, immediate decline into
admissions and state prisons and people
who had a first or second strike
that were sort of caught for
something that was now a misdemeanor
were not getting that third strike
and that sort of brought our
prison population down further.
Kim Baldonado: Which begs the population if the
prison population has gone down over
the last 10 years why has the cost
not gone down?
>>: I think it depends on it’s a
cost relative to what.
So that three-judge federal panel
said we had to reduce the ratio
of inmates to rate of capacity to
137.5. One way we could have done that.
Kim Baldonado: How they came up with that
number? [Laughing]
So one way you can do that is you
can build more prisons and if you
build a lot more prisons you have
to hire a lot more staff and you
have capital expenditures and everything
that goes with maintaining. So relative to that scenario we
saved a lot of money, but relative
to our initial spending level we
spend more and part of that reason
is there has been increases in
the actual allocations but there’s
also a fair amount of money that’s
transferred to the counties and so
actually we are spending more on
corrections. I think part of it is there’s a
distinction between the margin cost of an
inmate and the average.
So if you reduce the population by
30,000, it doesn’t mean you can
guard 30 percent less of the perimeter
or staff 30 percent less time. It’s still a large fixed cost
associated. And we are so overcrowded and we
are still overcrowded, but now we
have staffing levels that are
matched to the number of people we
have. Kim Baldonado:
Do you want to jump in as a former
state legislator why did the state
budget for prison systems. Carol Liu:
I think we have less in our prison
systems and those that are most
difficult and the most needy in
terms of medical care are still
under federal receivership in terms
of our medical care and it’s been
very expensive. When I was there we were trying
to get our act together, so we
could get rid of the person in
charge of this, but the state still
has him around and he’s very expensive.
Kim Baldonado: In the current state budget
Health and Human Services like Karen
— Carol mentioned gets the most
and higher education, which
includes UC, CSU and community colleges
has seen a bit of an increase in
its budget and 15 billion while
prisons are at 13.7 billion.
Do all three panelists, what can Californians
do if we want to and I’m sure everyone
in this room wants to have more
of a say in how our tax dollars
are spent spent. Robert Birgeneau:
Have an election. Kim Baldonado:
Is it that simple? Robert Birgeneau:
First of all, to earlier, as Carol
said which is with all of the propositions
and requiring the money spent on
certain things and the increasing
bureaucracy, the reality that the
state legislature has progressively
less flexibility. Kim Baldonado:
Basically their hands are tied because
voters keep coming up with [Overlapping Speakers]
Robert Birgeneau: It’s an important part of it and
on our panel one of the Lincoln
project one of the more outspoken
members was the governor for eight
years and he’s fully committed to
education and he discussed all of the
challenges of running a state like
Tennessee with all the imperatives that
come from the federal government
and it’s a reality that the state
government budgets are progressively more strained
and as I said our conclusion was
that it’s not going to reverse itself
although it would be great if we
would reduce prison costs by let’s
say you said how many billion?>>:
13.7, I said 11. But suppose we cut that in half.
That doesn’t mean that $6 billion
now will be transferred to higher
education. I mean they will build a train
or repair roads or you know
something like that.
Kim Baldonado: How does your — how does higher
education get more?
Robert Birgeneau: First of all, the United States
is the only country that doesn’t
recognize and have a strong public
higher education as a national asset
not just a state asset.
We are alone in that so every other
federal government significantly
invest in higher education. The former president of Yale
gave their government advice in
terms of how their government is
financing higher education.
It was a really interesting exercise
particularly with the federal government
cares about public education and
it’s like a revelation. And the Canadian government even
under Harper invested really
significantly. First of all, we need the
federal government to play its role in
supporting higher education.
They need to do that and partnership
with states and the states are not
going to give up control over and
they shouldn’t. And that’s my own view that
especially in California that major
corporations are what I call free riders.
They are not contributing. They pay very low taxes because
their money is offshore and secondly
they are not philanthropic.
Kim Baldonado: They don’t have to so they are
not going to.
Robert Birgeneau: They don’t.
And so, you know, 50 years ago when
major corporations felt that they
had significant social responsibility
to support the enterprise, then
universities were in a better situation.
I talked to the President of arguably
California’s most successful high-tech
Corporation and he is a Berkeley
graduate and I was complaining to
him and he literally said to me
that he did what I was requesting
which was a significant investment
in Berkeley by the corporation and
not him personally. Just to recognize all the
graduates right.
He said I would be outed at the next
stockholder meeting. He literally said that and
stockholders care about — what they care
about is the bottom line right and
they don’t see it it.
They think they pay too many taxis
taxes, even though they don’t. No you are hearing a political
pitch [Laughing]
And because they have money offshore,
the corporations. And they don’t have to pay taxes
on that.
Kim Baldonado: Corporations are consistently
complaining that they can’t find skilled
workers. Robert Birgeneau:
That’s what I said. I said you higher a lot of our
graduates, you want more so why don’t you for example, provide
scholarships to undergraduates who are
getting educations in the area where
you are complaining there’s a
shortage of workers and that’s when I
got the response of while you know
stockholders would not see how that helps
our bottom line.
Well anyway so one way or another
whether it’s through tax incentives
and you have tax incentives, repatriation
of this $2.7 trillion that’s offshore,
that is one thing that is bipartisan,
you have to bring some of that money
back. If 1 percent of that was devoted
to higher education, that would
not quite solve our problems but
it would be a huge dent in public
higher education.
1 percent of the money that is held
offshore would repatriate and went
to higher education would go a very
long way. And if some universities like
Berkeley [inaudible] we’ve seen really
a significant growth in
philanthropy and we are extremely grateful
for that.
During my time as chancellor, money
from philanthropy far exceeded the
money we got from the state. So the generosity of our alumni,
we would have been much worse in
an actual situation and that is
continuing so we need this. But you can’t just have the
philanthropist over here, and business not
contributing over here and the federal
government not taking the kind of
responsibility they have.
You need to put together a new model
for this important partnership .
Kim Baldonado: And that makes progress on the
UC is are becoming the
fundraising game and some that have more
affluent alumni get more.
Whereas it should be a state responsibility [Overlapping Speakers]
Robert Birgeneau: In fact, one of my donors said a
scholarship fund, $25 million but they had to
match it. So actually explained how we did
fundraising and they just said we can’t do
it. They actually gave up the money.
So $25 million in scholarship money
for low income students got passed
on because they said we can’t afford
to higher fundraisers. You can’t say just give me the
money. Kim Baldonado:
I think that climate has changed a
little bit. The state in most recent years
the last couple of budgets when
you talk about the increase in
amount of dollars going to higher Ed
it’s going to community colleges
because in the state of California we
need to have about two and a half
million more college educated BAs
coming out of our system to maintain
the kind of economy we are use to.
That’s just to keep it even. And we are far behind in
reaching that number so the thinking is
if you get kids at the community
college when I was chair of the higher
Ed committee it was taking kids
seven years to get through the
system for a two year degree or two
year transfer or two year
certificate certificate. Seven years floating through the
system and it was not acceptable
acceptable. They were taking six years for a
four year degree and it makes it
more expensive for all of us, the
taxpayers to get these kids out of the
system. So the emphasis has been
capturing those kids at the two-year
level, getting them more help and
focus so that they can move on with
their lives.
The University of California system
has been relatively compared to
the other two systems, or at least
better at graduation rates. They could improve them but kids
are getting out in 4 years and
transfer kids come in and only take 2
years et cetera so the system seems
to be working well enough.
And quite frankly, because the UC
is get federal dollars and you know
other kinds of grant money et cetera,
they are not seen in the legislature
as really being as needy as the
community college system and the
CS use and as far as I’m concerned
the CSU’s are the weakest link because
they totally depend upon the state
for their resources and at the community
college about 2 million students
in community colleges and half of
them are on waivers and that’s the
the Board of governor waivers which
means kids are not paying any kind
of fees at all to go to school .
I’m involved in Pasadena community
college and they are doing a campaign
to fund books, materials, living
costs for kids for two years if
you take a full load. And that is where the movement
is happening among some community
colleges because we have a lot more
underserved kids coming into the system
without the wherewithal or they don’t
have a pass to follow because they
don’t have parents or other siblings
and they are kind of pioneers in
their own way.
And so they need more assistance and
so we are trying to help those folks.
But also talking to Cloey over there,
we are having the same issues at
the UC, first-generation kids who
don’t know how to get through the
system and never get through the
system and we are seeing different
kinds of kids come through the system
because it’s opened itself up to
all qualified kids and it’s a challenge
financially. Kim Baldonado:
Should that responsibility beyond
the individual colleges and universities
to fund raise and find ways to get
students through the system? Carol Liu:
I think the state plays a role in
this because we want to have kids
with more advanced degrees or certificates
so they can be well employed. That just brings more resources
to the state.
So, you know, it needs to happen at
all levels and you need to have
a support system that really understands
and connects all the dots. I was reading, Cloey, at the
last lunch or dinner you had, this
little word — blurb about a young
man who is getting a scholarship
who comes out — he had a felony.
A young man who decided to get himself
straight and go back to college.
That kind of student today is much
different than the kind of student
that I was too many years ago , but
— and so that kind of student really
needs the assistant of not only
financing his education but needs
a support system how to navigate
through the system. Kim Baldonado:
Bob you said we need to change the
model completely. What with that model look like
and how do we get there?
Robert Birgeneau: I think of the model and how we
get there, I thought we had a
strategy but.
Kim Baldonado: All the best minds working on it
it. We are telling on you.
Robert Birgeneau: We have a lot of different ideas
but first of all, there is no
silver bullet.
So I think that’s really important.
The silver bullets are going back
to the state and saying give us
lots more money. But that’s not going to happen. If we could get everyone to give
money to Stanford [Laughing]
[inaudible], but in any case so we
are actually evolving toward a model
in which we have multiple sources
where like everybody you know, the
overhead on research grants [inaudible]
but let’s say it’s 5 percent of
our budget. We will receive from the federal
government and then you have 15- 15-20
percent from student tuition and 12
percent from the state et cetera.
Nothing is directly supporting the
operating government from the federal
government and minimal contributions
from major corporations. So we need to piece together all
of these but it needs to be done
a partnership kind of way not
just scattershot so we have some
kind of a systematic overall budget
where there may be others you may
think of, agree that they will carry
a particular percentage of the
costs of higher education.
I do want to say one thing, which
is I don’t want to be all negative
especially here in California but
one of the other things we’ve done
a study of recently and we are in
the process of publishing it is
setting financial need-based financial
aid across the United States and
that is how much money is made available
whether from the state to enable
low income students to attend universities
and graduate without significant
debt because of my own personal
background I have a deep interest
in higher education. So of the 50 states, California
is number 1.
We are the single best state in the
union for providing access to students
from low income backgrounds. So we can be extremely satisfied
satisfied. [Applause]
Kim Baldonado: Without having alumnus.
Robert Birgeneau: We have the lowest debt in the
country. So — this is counterintuitive,
but it happens to be true, I wrote
an op-ed that the Los Angeles
Times loved and published recently
the title of which is why is
Bernie Sanders trying to increase
income inequality .
Kim Baldonado: You’re not going to overwhelm
this room.
[inaudible] Robert Birgeneau:
It’s just a fact. It’s affect.
So the reason is — and a major source
of financial aid for low income
students is the set-aside which
is the 1/3 of the tuitions that
either the state pays through Calc
grants or people can afford to pay
quite low tuitions, 1/3 of that
goes into financial aid for low
income students to pay for their
food and their room and board. That is how they eat.
They are low income students are able
to eat food because well to do students
pay tuition. If you let the well to do
students go to college for free then a
major source of financial aids for
low income students that makes
college that enables them to live a
dignified life disappears so then they
will not go to college because you
can’t go to college if you can’t eat
and you can’t eat if you don’t
have financial aid which comes from
the tuition paid by students from
privileged backgrounds.
So that is the reason why if you are
a low income student and live away
from home it’s cheaper to go to
Berkeley then a community college.
That’s a critical factor. Because financial aid works so
well for cap students.
Kim Baldonado: Explain what that is.
Robert Birgeneau: It’s a wonderful program we
should have Cloey explain it.
It’s a program for students under
$20,000 in income so we do a great
job financial aid may or may not
shock you that the worst state for
financial aid with no money is in
the deep South. So like Louisiana they provide
no money.
It’s astounding. It is.
They have merit scholarships, which
tend to go to students from privileged
backgrounds. They went to the best schools,
but no need based.
California, our financial aid system
is entirely need based and the state
gives generously and there are areas
where our tuition doubles which
made a lot of students very unhappy. But the state doubled the size
of the Pell grants which the
state of Michigan did the exact
opposite. The state of Michigan decimated
their support for low income
students the first thing they cut was
support for low income students.
We did not do that in California and
Jerry Brown did not do that. I think we did not take shots at
them. One thing I did want to say is
an unfortunate thing we’ve seen
here in California is that tuition
[inaudible] isn’t that great and it makes
the university more accessible.
Low income students it’s gone up by
$3,000 because tuition was [inaudible].
So we have put our students deeper
into debt by not increasing tuition.
That’s been a critical fact. Kim Baldonado:
I think what gets lost a lot of time
people don’t realize when student
tuition is increased financial aid
is increased. Robert Birgeneau:
The tuition is zero if family income
is under $80,000 so you don’t pay
it anyway then all you have to worry
about his room and board and that
depends on how much money is available
and that financial aid comes from
the Pell grant intuition. So we’ve increased debt
significantly for low income students by
keeping the cost down from students
from privileged backgrounds.
Kim Baldonado: Before we get to questions from
the audience I want to get Stephen
here with an opportunity for any
other solutions or any way out of
this and Bob has already said we
cannot reverse this.
Do either of you have thoughts on
this? Robert Birgeneau:
I could be wrong. [Laughing]
Kim Baldonado: In the research you are doing
any changes at all to how it’s
funded? Carol Liu:
I do think that — I do think it can
be solvable first of all, and I
do think that as well being as we
all are that we do need to work
collectively and out of our silos
to try to solve this problem if
indeed it is high enough. And it is a high on the priority
list for California in order to
maintain the kind of economy.
So there are no quick fixes. There is no — there’s going to
be some pain.
Tax reform in the federal government
in California needs to get its act
together in terms of tax reform
also. We’ve never recovered or changed
our tax reform since prop 13.
And it doesn’t need — we just need
to have a conversation about how
we can better utilize the taxes
that we collect and how those taxes
may need to be changed from how
we currently do it. If that needs to be long-term
and it’s really difficult to have
that conversation because there are so
many voices out there. But we need to come together to
solve this problem.
Kim Baldonado: Steve.
Steven Raphael: I don’t know if I can solve the
higher education funding or any
problem for that matter, but I do have
ideas about doing things better with
sentencing that might further reduce the
prison population and we should you
know, again do credit back that
California was in we were right there at
the national average with our
incarceration rate we look like the average
for the U.S. and now we are way
below the average so our
incarceration rate right now is what it was
in 1990 which is amazing.
Fifteenth in terms of growth in a
short period of time and part is
we were forced to and part is that
the voters of California decided
they wanted to. There were several initiatives
that passed with broad-based
support across every single county in
the state that moderated sentences
for second and third strengths for
lesser offenses and so forth.
Now there are other arguments that
one could make to reform sentence
other than you could save money
in prison, there are utilitarian
concerns regarding you know, are
we getting a lot of money in terms
of are we getting a lot of benefit
from reduction in the funding and
it appears on the margin we weren’t
at last the levels we were at before
and we could reduce further if we
did it in a smart way and if we
reduced further we could close an
institution and save some real money.
So I think one of the things that
reformer’s push is kind of a categorization
systematic evaluation of mandatory
minimum sentences that make it very
difficult to individualize and provide
some incentive for people that are
incarcerated to rehabilitate. Frankly, in the grander scheme
of things the research by social
science that very, very early
childhood investment from nurse visits
to preschool to targeted
interventions that increase vocabulary by
the age of five seem to have
long-lasting effects on everything from
earnings to having a heart attack by 42
assignment so you can imagine a world
where we make an investment now, but
we are reaping the return we made
18 years ago and we have that
going on where we just have a less
violent society and can invest as
needed in those areas and it would
probably cost more money now than it
would take out of the budget but you
know at the same time, I think in
the long run that sort of capital
invested direction.
Carol Liu: Just to add on to what Steve
said, there are other models, other
people — other countries do it
differently than we do.
And there’s very little little rehabilitation
going on in our system where as
a prison in Norway where it’s all
about rehabilitation not about recidivism
you’re getting these folks back
on their feet, back to be productive
folks in the community. So there is the possibility out
there and it’s not a political thing
either because on the spectrum of
folks that want to see less money
spent on our prison system there is
some agreement that we should work
toward finding ways to make our
system more efficient, more humane
and to be more positive about the
folks that have made mistakes.
Kim Baldonado: One of the questions we got to
not was about incarceration
formerly incarcerated individuals have struggled
with reintegrating into society
how can society help them succeed
and how can we increase awareness? Steven Raphael:
That’s a very, very difficult issue.
There are sort of laundry lists of
reentry efforts that range from
providing jobs, providing more extensive
reentry planning, some innovative
programs that actually are available
that the jail and the community
where they will be discharged and
they can get their IDs set up, they
can get an address, they can establish
whatever they need to establish
with a couple of hundred bucks and
gate money and there is this web
of you know, sort of NGOs, service
providers that contract with Counties
and with the state that provide
those reentry services. Many people do respond so we do
know that people that leave prison
there is a good 1/3 that are
characterized by criminologists in the media
, which means they are never
going back and a lot of times you
know this is kind of a triage
problem where you want to identify
people that really need supervision
and also identify people that may
stumble a couple of times, but they
are more toward that immediate so
part of this is separating and
targeting things appropriately, but you
know you can run a laundry list of
problems from housing and mental health
issues to sort of physical health
issues and the prison population is
sicker than the average person so the
needs are great and each locality in
California deals with it differently
depending on the locality’s policy
structure and orientation.
Kim Baldonado: You touched on this earlier and
you mention prop 13 and one of the
questions as if tuition continues to
rise what have you done to address
prop 13 and why is that the third
rail of California politics?
Is there anything we should do to
apply pressure for solution? Carol Liu:
No,. There is no stomach to make
changes to that the prop budget.
Kim Baldonado: Why is that?
Carol Liu: Well if you want to stay in
office, I’m putting this on the table.
So I mean no one has brought forward
an alternative .
Kim Baldonado: Do you have an alternative?
Robert Birgeneau: I don’t, but some of the
students do so I acted as a front
person for some of the students so
they asked me basically their
article got published in the LA Times
under my name.
The Los Angeles Times wouldn’t publish
it under their name. Literally true, but I published
an op-ed which is a student op-ed
on prop 13 and they done a lot of
research and so their model, I’ll take
credit, but the students were
idealistic and so prop 13 didn’t live in
California at the time I lived in a state
that actually assesses property
values rationally.
[Laughing] So I sort of was used to the
fact that if your house [inaudible] [Overlapping Speakers]
Robert Birgeneau: And so with this explosion in
housing costs in California as I
understand it prop 13 was introduced and
got support because it was
protecting [inaudible] and so turns out one
of the consequences in LA, LA homeowners
would be interested to know that
Disney Corporation pays property
tax at the rate of 20 percent [inaudible]
20 20 percent. And because they’ve owned their
property so long and they don’t sell it
and houses turnover and therefore, [inaudible]
houses keep going up and the Disney
Corporation, which is now [inaudible]
so if you did a simple thing in
California, which is you said let’s
leave the personal dwelling part
of prop 13 where it is and let’s
just do an annual reassessment of
properties owned by corporations,
then it turns out which is what
every other state — [inaudible]
that’s the way they’ve always done
it but it turns out that will generate
$90 billion a year. And of that 9 billion if that
went to education then the problem
solved. The problem is solved.
Right. So okay so I published before it
was fashionable I published in the
Los Angeles Times about
undocumented students and [inaudible] long
before it was a fashionable issue and
I’ve never [inaudible] gotten the
e-mail as bad as that.
The level of hate. This was literally a decade ago.
And it was quite upsetting, but it
didn’t make me afraid it just got
me so angry to say this is what
the undocumented people face every
day. I only faced it once.
But it’s almost as bad. As prop 13.
It’s like here is this. Kim Baldonado:
Even though it would leave the prisons
alone. Robert Birgeneau:
It didn’t matter. Trying to increase taxes and the
lead communist at Berkeley.
[Laughing] So it turns out even the Los
Angeles Times editors called me up to
tease me basically.
We’ve never seen this. [Laughing]
There is no way. And to me naīvely I thought
students have done all of this work and
it was terrific.
And 50 percent of people say yes it’s
not right, that the corporation
paid tax at the rate of 20 percent.
Kim Baldonado: Don’t forget prop 13.
[chuckling] Kim Baldonado:
Something interesting. Another question from costs in
2007 the majority of professors
have not seen substantial pay
raises and professorship is
decreasing in favor of instructors and
adjuncts with this in mind why has the
University add high paid administrator
position and increased existing
administrator pay?
You are no longer Chancellor. Robert Birgeneau:
It won’t shock you that I can answer
that question. First of all, I can only say
during the time I was Chancellor I kept
careful track of that well documented
the number went down. So this is like it’s such an
easy target.
The overall number of administrators
went up because research funding
went up, so people administrating paid out of research budgets
not out of education budgets and
that number of administrators went
up so if you look at the total
the number went up at the numbers
were actually paid a combination of
state funding.
Secondly, we actually looked at salaries
and from the rate of increase in
salaries of senior administrators
was identical to the rate of increase.
Kim Baldonado: What about the 10 year track to
professorship? Has there been a trend
decreasing? Robert Birgeneau:
There has been. So freezing tuition took out of
our budget $100 million out of our
budget which was paying the salary of
staff so if you take $100 million
out of our budget you have less
money to pay salary for faculty .
Not complicated. Actually.
I mean we are in the peculiar situation
and people have not adjusted to
it and you can tell I may Chancellor
here and not with four kids in college
anymore although I have 12 grandkids.
That is literally true I’ve admitted
this I’m reporting substantially
while they are going to college.
I’ve got to take a collection afterwards.
[Laughing] But we are in this situation,
which is because of the dramatic
drop that happened after 2008 in
the level of state support and the
cost and doubling of tuition that
2/3 of salaries are paid by
students 1/3 by the state.
And this is shocking reversal that
happened very quickly so it’s actually
a really good argument that students
should have more say in the governance
of university because they are paying
the salaries. And I actually advocated that
and the graduate students rejected
that for reasons I could never
understand anyway. So students actually had some
say in the budget and graduate
students rejected that.
You never know. Who knows right.
But anyway the reality is just getting
back to this that faculty salaries,
2/3 of the money comes from student
tuition tuition 1/3 from the state.
So the financial model is fundamentally
different than when many of you
if you graduated before 2008, everything
is now different, completely different.
And people the general population
are not familiar with that and the
faculty don’t understand that. Every time I say to the faculty
it’s the students who are paying
your salary.
That’s the fact. It’s like stop complaining.
[Laughing] They are paying your salaries.
[Laughing] So it’s really quite interesting
interesting. This is quite new and I would
say we have not addressed this and
most people don’t even understand.
Kim Baldonado: I think we’ve touched on this,
but the last question here I don’t
know if there’s anything positive
to end on what policy changes
should we focus on to redirect
government support for education? Carol Liu:
I am more goal oriented so if we need
2.5 more million folks because of
high unemployment we should take
a close look at increasing graduation
rates not just among community colleges
but we have about 4 million people
that have partial class credits,
certificates that are out there.
A be incentivized some of those to
go back to school and finish up
their degrees. That would be an easy one except
we would have to pony up with
some dollars to make that an
incentive. And then we should also because
we are — we have a lot of
veterans in the state of California and
to really incentivized because
they do have a federal scholarship
or [Overlapping Speakers]
They can pull down and they should
be encouraged to go back and get
their higher education. We can close that gap by 2020. Steven Raphael:
Again I don’t know how to fix the
financing issue. It’s hard to generate good
revenue sources, but there are things
I’ve been a UC faculty member now
since 1999 and now over the last 20
or so years, the degree to which
you see the University as a hole
opening up to the citizens of
California is kind of palpable and there
are veterans, students who are
veterans and students who are
underground scholars who are incarcerated
who have been impacted who are
some of our best students and just
running with opportunities and they
are inspiring.
And I think that that change in that
direction if we just bring the University
community to prepare people to be
there and educate people who want
to run with the opportunity. That’s the direction I think we
should go.
Kim Baldonado: It’s a national issue and your
work with the Lincoln Project, are
there things other states are doing
now? Robert Birgeneau:
We are the single best in financial.
Kim Baldonado: But we are still in this
situation. Robert Birgeneau:
So as every other state. We didn’t see a model from
another state unless it was Texas with
huge endowments but state
government is a very oppressive on the
universities. So we are somewhere in the
middle overall in California.
And [inaudible] things are no worse
than the national average and much
better in terms of access students
from different background so there
is no magic moment. I want to mention one more
program and this is entirely funded by
our graduates so our social worker
and [inaudible] worked with foster
children and so she and one of our
members got interested [inaudible] at
Berkeley. It’s a pretty large number.
They were failing out at a disturbing
rate so we put together a program
[inaudible] and the graduation rate
is now 97 percent. [Applause] And this is entirely funded by
alumnus. The entire program.
My wife ordered me [inaudible]. So it’s like not optional.
[Laughing] And we did and a number of
wonderful people stepped up.
Stepped up significantly. A large number of people gave
significant gifts.
We actually endowed the staff position.
We actually have endowed a position
for full-time support for faculty.
The person is wonderful. So she is in a way personally
responsible so we can solve individual
problems, we are going to solve
undergraduate scholars in due course we
consulted for former foster kids but
these sort of microscopic problem,
there is no — none of us have so
far been smart enough to identify
a silver bullet where you cite
let’s just do this.
Kim Baldonado: But I’m encouraged that we find
a small problem and get people
together to fix it and we can.
Robert Birgeneau: Right, right.
And you know frankly, with a lot of
work led by NLA assembly person
that I helped some others do, we
got the state to provide financial
aid to undocumented students. The first in the country.
[Applause] So that was the state
legislature that did that and it sort of
went by and largely and I don’t
think people realized the
significance of it.
Of course, it now means we have the
dock a challenge of the country
because we’ve we been so successful
in treating undocumented students
decently, so they are graduating
and part of the dock a program and
we have a huge, huge issue. And we owe because we’ve given
them college educations.
Kim Baldonado: That’s a topic for another event
event. Well thank you all three of you
for offering your insight and your
wisdom and hopefully we have heard
something that can spur all of us to
take action in some small way if we
work together.
Carol Liu: I do have before we quit tonight
I have a higher education
funding in California about the PP I
see this last March N if you would
like to see it, there are extra
topics up here.
Kim Baldonado: Thank you,.
[Applause] Cloey Hewlett:
As we conclude tonight [Off Mic] [Applause] In addition, our Chancellor
emeritus, Robert Birgeneau, [Applause] , State Senator and always my
leader, Carol Liu.
[Applause] And our esteemed professor,
Steven Raphael, for this lovely and
lively discussion and for sharing
their collective expertise.
[Applause] Kim Baldonado:
I think Bob should become a full-time
fundraiser. That’s what I learned tonight.
Full-time fundraiser. Cloey Hewlett:
I want to thank the Goldman
School of Public Policy for
their collaboration and support in
co-hosting tonight’s program. In
particular I want to thank two
members of the Goldman School
Board of Advisors, the most dynamic
and powerful woman I know in California,
they are chair Cathy Unger.
[Applause] We also want to thank CAA staff
and there are many that deserve
recognition. This team is led by the
Associate Director of alumni engagement,
David Smith, the team includes
editor and chief of California
magazine and stay tuned for the next
issue, when deep Miller, Senior
development Director, Jennifer wore
Director of marketing and communication
Sarah, advocacy coordinator Mitchell
handler, Chapters, Sarah Yi;
Associate Director, Annual Fund Rachel
Cleary; Alumni Scholars Student
Support Coordinator, Johanna Romero; Alumni
Scholars Selections and
Communications Coordinator, Joanna
Juarez; and Cal alumnus and volunteer
George Fogelson. Would you all please
stand and be recognized? Thank you
for your tirelessefforts. [Applause] We also want to thank the local CAA Chapter
leaders who are here here.
And taking our alumni to that next
level. Some you’ve already met.
Gerald Nicdao Angeles Chapter;
Lakshmi (“LUCK-shmee”) Reddy
and Jenna Kelleher Co-Presidents of the
Orange County Chapter; Lindsay Mais
and Dani Messarina, Board Member, from the
Long Beach Chapter; and Susie
Tang, Vice President of the San Gabriel Valley Chapter.
And all to the alumni Chapter leaders
including those not here with us
tonight, but watching online, we
also want to thank you. And we had a lot of mention
about the underground scholars UCLA
chapter and we want to to yank them
for being here with us tonight.
Now to all of our online visitors
joining us back home in Berkeley
and around the world, thank you
for joining us. You are a significant part of
this discussion.
And together we will continue supporting
and investing in higher education.
At the Cal Alumni Association,
we do our very best each year to
fight for our students and protect
their rights to obtain higher
education. Every year, we award more alumni than 200 of these
students are Pal recipients with family
incomes under $20,000 a year.
In addition, many of them are underrepresented
minority scholars as well as first
generation. I have been fortunate to know
many of these students and they are
the most intelligent and
passionate people I have ever met.
And they will be our next generation
of leaders. You can contribute to our fight
for higher education by signing up
to be part of our CAA advocacy
team,, right here, right now, and
tonight we can start. By
registering as an advocate, you will
show your support for public
higher Education we will take it to the
state and federal level.
Every penny that you give keeps Cal
Golden. Every effort that you make keeps
Cal Golden.
Our advocacy coordinator is here tonight,
Mitchell handler, if you would like
to learn more, please go to our
website, alumni alumni.berkeley .edu
for how to become an advocate, how
to support our low income students.
And for those of you who are inspired
by our conversation tonight and
want — look for ways to become
more active in an important dialogue,
on Monday October N 9, in Newport
Beach, our colleagues at the University
development alumni relations at
Berkeley will host a Discover Cal
lecture, free speech now:the Berkeley
experience and you can learn more
at Discover Cal. Cal.berkeley .edu.
For CAA come up with the success of
our California life series and with
subsequent events planned this year
and next, we are thrilled that we
continue to expand alumni engagement.
This coming April, 2018, the Cal Alumni
Association is honored to cohost
California’s gubernatorial debate
in San Francisco and collaboration
with the Goldman School of Public
Policy, the Institute for governmental
studies, the Bay Area Council, the
daily Cal and KPI ex. So please keep those question
cards available because you are
going to really get the chance come
April. It is our goal to continue to
offer intellectually stimulating and
cutting edge events like this one.
And naturally we look forward to seeing
all of you soon, in person, and
for all of you online. To each and every one of you,
thank you for joining us tonight
tonight. And California Live!, the Golden
bear’s brow erring probably in
Berkeley and in Los Angeles?
Let’s just go bears! [Applause] And please, continue the
discussion. [music]
Kim Baldonado:

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