[UPDATED] 9/16: UC Berkeley j-students asked to pay more; 9/18: university officials to make more

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A reader points out that the university employees who are getting raises aren’t tied to the journalism school, but these heds show how the institution has no problem opening its wallet for bigwigs – at a time it’s making deans scramble to find funds to run their schools.

* Board of Regents approves pay increases for chancellor, executives (dailycal.org)
* Journalism school may raise costs by more than $10,000 (dailycal.org)
* An open letter to UC Berkeley’s j-school dean from Brad King (thebradking.com)

Update: Dean Edward Wasserman’s response to King is after the jump.

Dear Brad,

Thanks for your letter. I read it with admiration for your eloquence and sadness for your harsh conclusions which, I can assure you, are unwarranted.

In my year and a half as dean here I’ve been impressed, time and again, with how profoundly UC Berkeley is dedicated to the twin principles of excellence and access.

Those same values guide the Graduate School of Journalism.

We are absolutely committed to remaining affordable to students like you.
That’s why we will be devoting a huge chunk of the income this fee will raise to financial aid—a mandated minimum of 33 percent, which we will increase to 41 percent.

At the same time, we will apply the unrestricted funding the fee will bring in to expanding our underfunded development operations to bring in still more money, with student financial aid a top priority on where to put it.

So why raise fees if our plan is to give back so much of the money the fees will bring in?

Because we can replace that 41 percent of the fee income with money from our generous donors, who find giving for financial aid immensely appealing. Once we do that we can use the fee revenue for things the donor community is perennially reluctant to fund: Strengthening the reach and effectiveness of our indispensable core operations.

Those are the hugely important operations that get inadequate support from the University—which has problems of its own—but confer enormous benefits on our students: career services, so that all our grads get the terrific jobs they’re qualified for; outreach, so that the profile of the School is as high as it deserves to be; program enrichment and expansion, so that we continue to provide our extraordinary students with an intensive, two-year immersion in a burgeoning array of technologies and expressive forms, as we have done for nearly half a century.

We are committed to all those things, and you should feel confident that your faith in UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism is not now, and has never been, misplaced. We are determined to see to it that your diploma, which I pray you don’t take down from your wall, remains a credential in which you can continue to take pride and an asset that continues to appreciate in value.

Your letter is a valuable contribution to the public dialogue that we’re engaged in and which includes vigorous discussion with faculty, lecturers, students and alumni like you. Their, and your, sentiments will be reflected in the final proposal that goes before the Regents.

Edward Wasserman
Dean, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

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