E-Publish or perish

Thu, 16 Jun 1994 09:26:00 PDT

O'Brien writes:
" the resource is not naturally scarce - it has
been made scarce artifically by politics - and politics can change it again."

Here in California the governor just made a $2.6 billion mistake--on
OVERESTIMATE of available funds, in a budget that already proposed a $1
billion deficit. The State Controller (who disperses funds) stated that
IOUs would be issued beginning July 1 unless and until the governor comes up
with a way to ensure that funds will be available Spring 1996. The
governor assumes that California can get on the order of $2 - $3 billion
from the Federal Government to cover the costs of illegal immigrants. The
State Controller asserts that this is highly unrealistic and suggested either
(a) a trigger to raise taxes come next Spring if deficits are too high and/or
(b) automatic cuts in state spending.

Yes, resources (revenues available to the state) are ultimately affected by
politics--negatively and positively--but to say that in California (as an
example) reduction in academic positions is ARTIFICIAL politics and can be
easily turned around is HIGHLY unrealistic. We are dealing in California not
only with politics as it normally affects the university, but the reality of
a recession that still continues (9-10% unemployment). But it is not just
the University that is hurting: EVERY state institution is
hurting--libraries, parks, law enforcement, public hospitals, etc. Perhaps
in other states loss of academic jobs is due to politics specifically aimed
at Universities, but the larger picture in California says that that is not
the case. Specific instances DO represent a lot of politics; e.g., the
proposed reorganization of the School of Public Health, the Library Science
Program, etc.here at UCLA. Why these particilar proposals and why the
proposals took the form they did has a lot to do with politics. But what
lies behind these decisions is a drastically reduced University budget, and
what lies behind that reduced budget is a recession plus the STRONGLY
anti-tax mood of taxpayers in California. Perhaps the situation is simpler
in other states, but it cannot be reduced to: artificial restriction of
academic positions in California as if this were being done capriciously and
the money is there but just not being funneled to academic positions.

D. Read