California’s once-visionary Master Plan for Higher Education has not kept pace with tectonic changes rumbling across the Golden State, according to a report the Bay Area Council Economic Institute released this week (Dec. 2) that calls for overhauling the blueprint to position the state’s three public university systems to better serve and respond to the demographic, economic and technological realities of the 21st Century. The report and recommendations come as the debate over state funding for the University of California and the California State University systems reaches a fever pitch. Among the report’s findings:

  • When the Master Plan was written, 11 percent of jobs were filled by workers with at least a bachelor’s degree – today it is over one-third and growing.
  • In 1960, 82 percent of high school graduates were non-Hispanic whites; today it is 28 percent.
  • In 1977, 18 percent of the state’s budget went to higher education; today, it is 11.6 percent.

Read the full report>>

See reaction from academic and business leaders>>

Read the press release>>

In addition to well-documented and dramatic declines in state funding for higher education, the report cites legislative and administrative mandates will allow them to experiment with new funding and academic approaches to meet the needs of individual institutions. As the 2015 legislative session moves forward and Gov. Jerry Brown unveils his proposed budget in January, the Bay Area Council will be actively engaged in seeking higher education reforms necessary to help meet California’s future workforce needs, grow middle-class jobs and compete globally. To engage in our workforce and higher education policy work, contact policy Vice President Linda Galliher.

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