Your editorial contains some rather ill-considered suggestions for the UC system. In particular, your suggestion that "Berkeley and UCLA should continue as graduate-research universities, but the other UC campuses . . . must rededicate themselves to teaching first, research second" is quite shortsighted. As a graduate student who is completing his Ph.D. at UC Irvine, and who attended UCI as an undergraduate, I feel that to follow your suggestion would injure both the undergraduate and graduate studies at UC.
When I applied for admission to UC as an undergraduate, the major attraction for me was the opportunity to work under persons striving to extend the bounds of human knowledge. It is true that some professors at the UC campuses have poor teaching skills. However, I've found that, in general, professors who are active in research bring a perspective on their subject lacking in professors who focus exclusively on teaching. They focus on the questions in the field, portraying it as a dynamic search for knowledge rather than a static body of facts. This difference isn't readily apparent at the freshman level, but affects upper-division instruction tremendously. Attending a research university also allowed me to become involved in research as an undergraduate.