Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. Founded by Mark Kleiman (1951-2019)
Athletics at Cal
The perpetrators of last fall’s faculty senate resolution, that intercollegiate athletics at Berkeley be funded according to the rules and according to their appropriate role in a university, have an op-ed in the S.F. Chronicle.Â Â The chancellor appears to have a concept of “shared governance” that differs from what many might think the phrase means.
This is bigger than Berkeley; a lot of universities are trapped in a positional arms race that is a gold mine for people who sell entertainment and chotchkes; for us, not so much.Â In the case of public universities (and in the US system of tax exemptions for non-profit private enterprise, all universities are partly public) a lot of the money we spend on the 3% of our students engaged in this stuff is money taken from all citizens by force through taxes.Â What the sports supporters like to call “private” support, giftsÂ to intercollegiate athletics , are (incomprehensibly) tax deductible, so more than a third of those donations from wealthy boosters came right out of your pocket.
On the other hand, consider the value it creates. At our current level of commitment, only 10% of teams from our conference, the PAC-10, can play in the Rose Bowl, but what if we really got with the football program and we all doubled our spending on it; no more stingy two-million dollar coaches’ salaries, for example, but real money.Â Imagine how many teams could play in the Rose Bowl, and how many teams could all be in the top half of the conference, if all the chancellors and presidents stepped up!
If you think the answers are “one” and “five, same as now”,Â you don’t understand something deep and essential about bigtime college sports, which is a pity, because you won’t be able to explain it to me in comments and I will continue to not get it.
Author: Michael O'Hare
Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training.
He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.
Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at UniversitÃ Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs.
At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4Ã—5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.
View all posts by Michael O'Hare
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