Saturday, January 26, 2008

Poor little UC's endowment: $8 billion

By ratifying a deal allowing UC to turn the old extension property into a massive housing development, the mayor, the Planning Commission, and Supervisor Mirkarimi have in effect endorsed that malevolent institution's Big Lie about why it abandoned the site in the first place. More than two years ago, UC's spokesman at the time, Jeff Bond, told a Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association meeting that UC had to quit providing college courses for working people there because it couldn't afford to maintain the Laguna Street site. Bond even claimed that if the city refused to give it the zoning change required to complete the housing deal UC would have to economize by raising student fees and discontinuing a number of courses for UC students.

This Big Lie was quickly contradicted when Bond, pressed for the information at that meeting, announced at the next HVNA meeting that UC was spending more than $2 million a year to lease property downtown to house the extension courses that used to occupy the site they supposedly couldn't afford to maintain.

In a front page article on college endowments last Thursday, the SF Chronicle tells us about poor little UC's endowment: "The combined endowments of the 10-campus UC system are about $8 billion, less than half of Stanford's. And while the UC Berkeley endowment also saw healthy growth last year---20.5 percent for a total of $837 million---it is dwarfed by Stanford's..."