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Economics 101 in higher education

July 21, 2009

Re "College crunch: budget cuts, fee hikes, forced days off -- the Cal State system is under siege," Opinion, July 16, and "For a bloated UC, layoffs make more sense than pay cuts," Opinion, July 16

After reading Vincent Del Casino's description of the plight of our California State University system, I happened to catch President Obama speaking to the NAACP -- a rousing, inspired commitment to education.

So, President Obama, given that you decry the decline in college graduates and have called for an increase by 2020, that our state's population is demographically diverse representing the richness of this nation, and given that the CSU system is (along with our community colleges) that portal through which that dream you speak of actually emerges, I ask you -- how can we let this remarkable system crash and burn?

Dorothy Clark

Los Angeles

The writer is a professor of English at CSUN.

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The current cuts to higher education, including professor salary cuts, will result in the loss of excellent professors who can get higher-paying jobs elsewhere, which will in turn make the state schools less attractive options to competitive students.

For people who think that the answer is paying our professors less, as the CSU system is currently suggesting with "furloughs," I have looked up what my professors make per year -- and it is barely more than I make working at a hotel.

I don't think it is right that someone who has gotten a doctorate should be paid the same as I am without even a bachelor's degree.

Anna Hartsfield

North Hills

The writer is a student at CSUN.

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Del Casino gets to the heart of the issue by pointing out how these unprecedented cuts to the Cal State system will result in fewer needed workers for the state such as teachers, nurses and engineers.

Cuts to education won't help the state's unemployment rate and will ultimately prove to be a poor investment for California's future.

Chad Tsuyuki

Long Beach

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After reading the articles concerning the effects of the budget woes on the CSU and UC systems, I have one question: Why do the state workers accept that taking pay cuts and layoffs is the only solution?

The U.S. government has spent billions of dollars on a war based on a lie and on bailing out unethical financial institutions.

In other words, when it comes to the rich, there is always enough money, but when it comes to the working and middle class, the only solution is to cut.

Jerry Rosen

Los Angeles

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Robert Cooter and Aaron Edlin argue for their view of how the University of California should respond to the state's latest partial withdrawal of support.

I would argue that there is a better, more creative solution. If the three UC schools that they describe as "among the top 20 universities in the world" were to sever their ties to the state entirely, to "go private," that would relieve at least some of the state's burden of support.

It would also emancipate those universities, allowing them to fulfill their functions without having to depend on the vagaries of a broken political system.

Don Warner

Los Angeles

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