Berkeley Raises $1.1 Billion to Keep Professors From Ivy League

<p>Berkeley Raises $1.1 Billion to Keep Professors From Ivy League </p>

<p>By Brian K. Sullivan and Matthew Keenan</p>

<p>March 14 (Bloomberg) -- The University of California, Berkeley, the highest-ranked state college in the U.S., has raised $1.1 billion toward a war chest to fight raids on its faculty by wealthier Harvard and Yale. </p>

<p>The money will endow chairs for 100 professors. Berkeley's teachers now often earn less than counterparts at Harvard University, may soon be underpaid by 30 percent, and are vulnerable to higher offers, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau said. The school will also overhaul management of its $2.9 billion endowment to match the 23 percent return at Harvard's $34.9 billion fund, Birgeneau said. </p>

<p>``These institutions are competing for exactly the same faculty that we are trying to hire and so an important question is whether the public universities are going to be able to compete,'' Birgeneau, 65, said in an interview.

Berkeley has been hit by increased competition for students as Harvard and other elite schools step up financial aid, becoming cheaper than Berkeley for some families. Berkeley has lost at least 30 faculty members since 2003 to its eight primary competitors, led by Harvard. The California school also faces a 10 percent cut in state subsidies under the budget proposed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Berkeley, which counts 44 Nobel Prize winners among its alumni and past and present faculty, is the highest-ranking public-supported university in U.S. News & World Report magazine's 2008 list, and places 21st overall.

The school argues it deserves support because, unlike elite private universities, Berkeley has a mission of educating a broad cross-section of students, Birgeneau said. Thirty-one percent of Berkeley's undergraduates, most of whom are from California, are eligible for federal Pell grants for students whose family income is less than $45,000.

Harvard's Sticker Price

There are about 7,500 Pell-eligible students at Berkeley, more ``than are present on the campuses of all the Ivy League universities put together,'' Birgeneau said. Twelve percent of Harvard's students qualified for Pell grants, as did 9.4 percent of Yale University's in 2006, according to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.

Berkeley's fees, housing, books and other expenses bring the typical cost for California residents to $25,300. The sticker price for Harvard is $45,620.

Competition for low- and middle-income students is intensifying, as Harvard, Yale and other schools have sweetened financial-aid plans. Harvard is waiving all costs for students from households earning less than $60,000 annually. Grants from Berkeley lower its costs to $8,000 for families making less than $40,000, Birgeneau said.

Harvard is also instituting a sliding scale, with contributions from households earning up to $180,000 capped at 10 percent of income. Families earning $90,000 pay the full price at Berkeley, Birgeneau said.

Professor Pay

The average salary for a full professor at Berkeley in fiscal 2006 was $134,672, or 15 percent less than the average earned by counterparts at private institutions, according to the university. Associate professors made $88,576, or 14 percent less than peers.

Econometrician Guido Imbens left Berkeley for Harvard in 2006; chemical engineering professor Arup Chakraborty went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005; and law professor Robert Post joined Yale in 2003.

Chakraborty, 46, worked at Berkeley for more than 16 years. When he was considering leaving for MIT, Berkeley offered to establish an endowed chair for him, narrowing the financial differences between the schools.

It is true that over the long term, private schools do offer endowed chairs that are more sustainable,'' Chakraborty said.In general, for Berkeley, it is a bit of a problem.''

State Deficit

The state of California is projecting an $8 billion budget deficit by June 30, 2009. Schwarzenegger has proposed a 10 percent spending cut, while Democrats in the Legislature want to raise taxes to meet part of the shortfall. The state gave Berkeley $508.5 million in fiscal 2007, excluding research contracts. Harvard's endowment, meanwhile, soared $5.7 billion, and provided $1 billion toward the annual budget.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, in Menlo Park, California, made a $113 million challenge grant to Berkeley in September, the largest gift in the university's 140-year history.

The Hewlett grant earmarked $3 million so Berkeley could study how to manage its endowment to match returns at elite schools. Berkeley's assets are split, with $2.1 billion handled by the board of regents and $840 million by the University of California, Berkeley Foundation.

Berkeley plans to form an investment company to manage the foundation's share, said Scott Biddy, 43, a vice chancellor.

Endowing Chairs

The school plans to raise $107 million from other donors and pair it with the Hewlett gift to create the 100 endowed chairs. There are 1,350 tenured and tenure-track faculty, and 351 endowed chairs backed by $458 million in assets.

Craigslist Inc., the San Francisco-based provider of online advertisements, has pledged $1.6 million to establish Berkeley's first endowed chair for new media. So far, the drive has attracted 15 additional grants.

``Our base doesn't rival that of Harvard or Princeton, but it is enough for us to improve significantly our financial position,'' Birgeneau said. </p>

<p>Berkeley gathered commitments for the $1.1 billion in advance of announcing a multi-billion dollar fund drive that begins next September, Birgenau said. The university hasn't set a goal or schedule for the drive. Berkeley's last campaign, ended in 2000, amassed $1.4 billion. </p>

<p>Good news! I wonder though how the 1.1 billion is divided between faculty, grad students, and UG.</p>

<p>
[quote]
The state gave Berkeley $508.5 million in fiscal 2007

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</p>

<p>That figure makes sense, but I don't understand why the financial reports say the state provides about $75 million in 2007.</p>

<p>This is a great article. I wasn't sure before why Berkeley's has been lagging -- was it more because of state constraints/regulations, or was it because Berkeley didn't have the right management? I'm glad to hear that a company has been formed to manage it, but I wish they could touch more than just the foundation's share of the endowment.</p>

<p>The budget cuts will prove a hard hit, but I think Berkeley can manage it.</p>

<p>here is the link to the article for those interested</p>

<p>Bloomberg.com:</a> News</p>

<p>This p'isses me off more than a little bit. Because of commitment to poors--making privatization not an option--we're seeing an exodus of faculty to Ivies. Not to mention the student protests for a half-billion dollar multicultural center that would further suck dry the endowment. If this fund raiser doesn't succeed and more faculty leave, eventually Berkeley's name is going to be all that's going for it, because it'll be no different from your local TTT state school.</p>

<p>Solution: privatize, get more money and corporate sponsors, then afford a better financial aid program. This haughty morality is killing Berkeley and driving away the most talented students and faculty; they'll go to ivies, and Berkeley will continue to get the bottom rung. The article reveals a bitter reality that Birgineau's moral philosophy will not maintain Berkeley as a school of elite education with prominent faculty. Instead, it will drive away talented students and faculty, and send Berkeley to TTTdom.</p>

<p>The education system needs a huge overhaul. What if all schools went private or all went public?</p>

<p>the66afghans- while Berkeley needs some improvements...if you look it say since 2003 around 30 have left.....thats about 6 per year out of a faculty of over 1500.... its not an exodus and I think this capital drive plus the hewlett gift will pretty much end this problem.</p>

<p>
[quote]
we're seeing an exodus of faculty to Ivies.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Yes, because 30 faculty of over 2,000 can be considered an exodus, right?</p>

<p>
[quote]
privatize, get more money and corporate sponsors, then afford a better financial aid program.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Or, better yet, work harder to improve the endowment, offer better financial aid, and improve the university as a whole. At the same time, continue to serve the residents of California -- the poor, the rich, and everyone in between.</p>

<p>
[quote]
they'll go to ivies, and Berkeley will continue to get the bottom rung.

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</p>

<p>Yet, Berkeley still manages to compete very well with the Ivies for faculty and such. Just look at the awards and honors that Berkeley's faculty currently has. And look at the faculty that join Berkeley each year (and how distinguished they are), compared to those who leave.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Instead, it will drive away talented students and faculty

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</p>

<p>Oh yes, and will also drive away all the poor, leaving an elite education for the elite only?</p>

<p>
[quote]
Berkeley to TTTdom

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</p>

<p>That will never happen to Berkeley. It has maintained its excellence thus far "despite" its service to the people and its continued excellence in social mobility (perish the thought!). You clearly don't have a strong grasp on how Berkeley works, which is probably due to your clouded elitist view of education.</p>

<p>
[quote]
the66afghans- while Berkeley needs some improvements...if you look it say since 2003 around 30 have left.....thats about 6 per year out of a faculty of over 1500....

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Well, that's not the most fair way to look at it. After all, competitors aren't raiding just any Berkeley profs. They are raiding the very best of the Berkeley profs. </p>

<p>Let's take one example. Take Arup Chakraborty. He wasn't just any Berkeley's ChemE professor. He was a star. He was Department Chair of ChemE, was elected to the NAE, AND he won the department Teaching Award. Hence, he was a rare case of a guy who was stellar both from a research standpoint and also from a teaching standpoint. Yet he was lured to MIT.</p>

<p>Hence, while the absolute losses are not large, what matters is that the quality of the losses is significant. Cal (like any other university) has plenty of (relatively) mediocre profs, many of whom won't even win tenure. They are not the object of concern. What matters is what happens to Berkeley's very best profs.</p>

<p>^^ I highly doubt that those who have left Berkeley are of the same caliber as Arup Chakraborty.</p>

<p>And still, Berkeley has over 2,000 faculty and only 30 have left for the Ivies in the last 5 years.</p>

<p>
[quote]
^^ I highly doubt that those who have left Berkeley are of the same caliber as Arup Chakraborty

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Ok, then let's talk about Guido Imbens, who was also named in the article. Guido Imbens wasn't just any old Econ prof. He was a tenured full prof in two Berkeley departments (Econ and Agricultural & Resource Economics). He was also editor of Econometrica. He also won the teaching award in the Econ department. Hence, he was another rare case of a guy who was both a stellar researcher AND a stellar teacher. But he was lured to Harvard.</p>

<p>
[quote]
And still, Berkeley has over 2,000 faculty and only 30 have left for the Ivies in the last 5 years.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>That's the same argument that sofla used, which I addressed above. The question is not about raw numbers. Berkeley, like any school, has plenty of mediocre (relatively speaking) professors. What really matters are the star professors.</p>

<p>Now, to be sure, Berkeley has other stars left. But that is to be expected, for Berkeley is supposed to be one of the top research universities in the world. Every one of the top research universities has their share of stars. What matters is where the stars tend to shift. If they start shifting away from Berkeley, then that does not bode well.</p>

<p>You can spin and downplay the evidence, but 30 leaving faculty over 5 years is significant. The reasons for them leaving are significant as well ($$$); not to mention where these faculty are matriculating (IVY)--demonstrating that these faculty, despite Berkeley having over 1500 (much of them mediocre or have yet to prove themselves), cannot be dismissed as dispensable. This is a BIG DEAL.</p>

<p>EDIT: </p>

<p>"work harder to improve endowment, offer better financial aid, and improve the university as a whole"? And where is this money going to come from? Donations numbering over 1 billion will certainly help, but won't improve Berkeley by leaps and bounds or save its dwindling faculty, and this is taking into account that the fund raiser even succeeds. You are not offering solutions, but delusions; "work harder"? how laughable. Say that as Yale and Harvard have 20+% returns and Berkeley slowly becomes the University of Poverty with laughable money management. Other prominent state schools are doing fine since their respective states are not 8 billion in debt or facing exorbitant budget cuts. These returns will occur once Berkeley starts accepting investments and begins to PRIVATIZE. If we wait it out and try to pass off 30 prominent faculty leaving as insignificant, then we are simply letting Berkeley dig its own grave. Before we know it, more prominent faculty leave, less talented students choose to matriculate, and you have Birgenau's dream: a school that educates the impoverished, but at the cost of a talent flight and lower quality students and faculty.</p>

<p>I'm not espousing elitism, but a practical solution. If Berkeley adopts a form of privatization, investors will jump at the opportunity, Berkeley will gain in endowment, and then can afford to have a competitive financial aid system. Again, this haughty morality against privatization is killing Berkeley.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Ok, then let's talk about Guido Imbens,

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</p>

<p>So you give one more? Let's talk about the other 28.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Now, to be sure, Berkeley has other stars left.

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</p>

<p>Yes, it retains most of its stars. Very few actually leave.</p>

<p>Just based on the awards that Berkeley's faculty has, I can see that Berkeley has plenty of excellent faculty that it manages to retain. It doesn't manage to do that for a few of the stars. And with the endowed chairs, it probably will lose even fewer.</p>

<p><a href="much%20of%20them%20mediocre%20or%20have%20yet%20to%20prove%20themselves">quote</a>

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</p>

<p>What? "Much of them mediocre"?</p>

<p>
[quote]
Berkeley's current faculty includes 221 American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellows, 2 Fields Medal winners, 83 Fulbright Scholars, 139 Guggenheim Fellows, 87 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 132 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 8 Nobel Prize winners, 3 Pulitzer Prize winners, 84 Sloan Fellows, and 7 Wolf Prize winners.[40] 61 Nobel Laureates are associated with the university, the sixth most of any university in the world; twenty have served on its faculty.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>And that's only the "major" awards. Doesn't even count the countless honors and awards (NSF ones, etc.) that other faculty has received.</p>

<p>
[quote]
This is a BIG DEAL.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>And so your solution is to... provide better financial aid?</p>

<p>Berkeley is working to improve the problem with faculty retention, beginning with the Hewlett foundation money. Becoming an elitist institution is an idiotic solution.</p>

<p>
[quote]
What? "Much of them mediocre"?

[/quote]

Many.</p>

<p>
[quote]
And so your solution is to... provide better financial aid?</p>

<p>Berkeley is working to improve the problem with faculty retention, beginning with the Hewlett foundation money. Becoming an elitist institution is an idiotic solution.

[/quote]

This is dangerous misconstruction and conveniently sidesteps the evidence. Obviously you're not one to address these problems and instead resort to simplifications and hard line positions.</p>

<p>
[quote]
So you give one more? Let's talk about the other 28.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I don't know who they are. Do you? I can only go by the article. </p>

<p>
[quote]
Yes, it retains most of its stars. Very few actually leave.</p>

<p>Just based on the awards that Berkeley's faculty has, I can see that Berkeley has plenty of excellent faculty that it manages to retain. It doesn't manage to do that for a few of the stars. And with the endowed chairs, it probably will lose even fewer.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Very few stars at any of the top schools actually leave. That's what makes the movement of even a few of Berkeley's stars a point of contention.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I don't know who they are. Do you? I can only go by the article.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Then how can you assert so definitively that Berkeley is losing superstars? I said I doubted it, but I honestly don't know for sure.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Very few stars at any of the top schools actually leave. That's what makes the movement of even a few of Berkeley's stars a point of contention.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I think the point of contention lies more in the public vs. private debate. The "exodus" of faculty (which really isn't very significant) cuts right through the issue of the competition between the public and private sector in the twenty-first century. Berkeley is at the forefront. Clearly the Hewlett foundation sees this too, which is why their immense donation is their "vote of confidence." Of course, they donated much more to Stanford, but the symbolic action is there.</p>

<p>Notice, also, that top privates lose faculty to one another every year, but it isn't made out to be such a big deal. This isn't the first article I've read on the controversy regarding Berkeley's faculty retention, nor will it be the last--and I daresay we won't see any article on it without a comparison to top privates.</p>

<p>I'm not too worried about the faculty exoudus, especially after the Hewlett gift.. I think the cases where the big stars are recruited will be solved by the money raised from the Hewlett Challenge, and that's not including some of the money raised in the 1.1 Billion alone, or the money yet to be raised.</p>

<p>More evidence that Berkeley is gaining:</p>

<p>
[quote]
1.5 million from the Siebel Foundation and an equal match from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation will establish at UC Berkeley the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Distinguished Chair in Stem Cell Research, bringing the total commitment from all these gifts to $12 million. The Siebel Distinguished Chair will enable UC Berkeley to recruit world-class faculty in stem cell biology, cancer and related research areas.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>03.12.2008</a> - UC Berkeley and Stanford University launch joint stem cell research initiative</p>

<p>
[quote]
Then how can you assert so definitively that Berkeley is losing superstars? I said I doubted it, but I honestly don't know for sure.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Uh, because this whole Berkeley initiative is specifically targeted towards stopping the exodus of profs who are presumably stars. After all, why would Berkeley want to endow chairs to a bunch of (relatively) mediocre profs? I can only assume that Berkeley is going to endow those chairs for actual stars. </p>

<p>
[quote]
I think the point of contention lies more in the public vs. private debate. The "exodus" of faculty (which really isn't very significant) cuts right through the issue of the competition between the public and private sector in the twenty-first century. Berkeley is at the forefront. Clearly the Hewlett foundation sees this too, which is why their immense donation is their "vote of confidence." Of course, they donated much more to Stanford, but the symbolic action is there.</p>

<p>Notice, also, that top privates lose faculty to one another every year, but it isn't made out to be such a big deal.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I disagree. In fact, the top private schools actually make quite big news when they go around 'raiding' each other.</p>

<p>As a case in point, when Robert Barro almost left Harvard for Columbia, but then decided not to, that news actually made the NYTimes. That was just one guy, not 30 (in the case of Berkeley). </p>

<p>Economics</a> All-Star Says He Will Stay With Home Team, After All - New York Times</p>

<p>Furthermore, I don't necessarily see a public vs. private dichotomy here. I think it has a lot to do with rich schools (whoever they are) vs. poorer schools (whoever they are). Many of the poorer private schools feel that they can't compete for top faculty with rich schools.</p>

<p>Ok so there is a problem with financing the faculty. I would say 30 faculty leaving in 5 years is very significant, even at a big school like Cal.</p>

<p>However, I dont see any problems with financial aid for students. Most of Cal's students are in-state, and in-state tuition is pretty affordable to most families. This is not the case for OOS students but they only consist of a small fraction Cal's student population.</p>

<p>im so disappointed! instead of fixing their financial aid awards, they go ahead and pay the already-rich professors!</p>

<p>they just got beat by almost every private institution and 4 public institutions (UVa, U Maryland, UNC chapel Hill and Uillinois) in terms of solving the financial aid problems for low-income students.</p>

<p>for the complete list of private AND public schools that offer no loans, go here (Scroll down):
FinAid</a> | Answering Your Questions | No Loans for Low Income Students</p>