Naming rights, anyone?

Big cutbacks in state funding have left UCSD students fuming and campus administrators slashing staff, but the same financial constraints apparently don’t apply to the university’s medical center. Approval of a planned “East Campus bed tower” to house 245 patients was on this week’s UC regents’ agenda. Costing a cool $663,800,000, the project, which also includes capacity for 11 new operating rooms and renovations of the existing Thornton Hospital, would be financed by a complicated combination of loans, bonds, leases, reserves, and $131 million in “gift funds.” The regents authorized planning for the complex two years ago over the objections of those opposed to the university’s desire to expand its facilities in University City at the expense of its Hillcrest hospital complex. Construction would start in March 2012 with completion by November 2015.

In another action scheduled for yesterday, the regents were set to discuss a “waiver of policy requiring housing on campus and housing allowance” for UCSD chancellor Marye Anne Fox. In 2004, the university shut down the official chancellor’s residence, planning to demolish the historic building and build anew on its La Jolla Farms site. But protests by preservationists and the Kumeyaay Cultural Repatriation Committee, which opposed disturbing a Native American gravesite on the property, stalled the project. Efforts to come up with nearly $8 million in donations to fund the house also proved problematic.

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Does this mean that the chancellor might have to live in an ordinary mansion? Something off-campus in downscale Del Mar or La Jolla? How demeaning!

The UC keeps crying poor-mouth, yet it can find the funding for a hospital expansion that costs a cool $2/3 billion. Is there something wrong with this whole picture?

You know Fox won't live too far from campus in anything under a few million. I wonder if she'll be able to keep her car paid by UCSD as well and her incompetent husband can continue to teach Chemistry?

UCSD is not poor, but they keep stating they are. I went there and I'm still disgusted how the whole system is run.

Let me share a secret with you. I graduated from a UC campus over forty years ago. From the day I graduated, up until about twenty years ago when I stopped getting their screed, that campus cried poor-mouth. Yet during that period of time, the UC grew three campuses from nearly nothing to full-fledged UC status (Irvine, Santa Cruz and San Diego), had major growth on three already-up-and-running campuses (Davis, Santa Barbara, and Riverside), and even added considerably to the two major campuses (Berkeley and Los Angeles.)

Now, when the UC cries about lack of state support, it is actually telling the truth. Decades of crying wolf have taken their toll, however, and the public isn't really listening. The real issue with the UC is its own belief that research is its prime mission. 19 of 20 California residents (who are also taxpayers) would say the UC mission is college education. Big disconnect. But does the upper echelon of UC administration have even a glimmer of that expectation? Fuhgeddabouddit!

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