Sunday, January 09, 2011

Brown and the University: It Ain't Gonna be Pretty

Driving down to Davis this morning, I got to thinking about Jerry Brown, California's youngest and oldest governor, and the prospects for the University. Of course it's gonna hurt; it's gotta hurt; how not?

But my mind wandered back to the 70s--oh yes, I was here--and the first (young) Jerry Brown and the life we lived then. As I remember it, Brown's attitude then was: look, I have two large mouths to feed--the University and the welfare system. As far as I'm concerned, welfare needs it more and so you guys are just going to have to take care of yourselves.

Life is different now. Post Prop 13, the governor has to worry about public schools, the way he never did when they all fed on their own property taxes. And the prison guard's union: back in 1980 we had 10 prisons; now we have 33. The University is already far more obliged to feed itself.

But I can't see anything in Brown's record that makes him any more disposed to show hospitality to the University than he did 40 years ago. Like I say, it ain't gonna be pretty.  

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