UCLA Should Open a Campus in Siena, Italy

UCLA is a great school with big plans.  During a time of tight budgets, we are investing in basketball and perhaps even a luxury hotel.   While I would focus our investments on hiring new faculty and increasing Ph.D. graduate student stipends, I don’t have much political clout.    With this in mind, I will focus my new trial balloon on a unique piece of physical capital.  I’ve learned that investing in human capital isn’t “cool”.  We are costly.  We aren’t new and shiny. We tend to leave (and graduate) and donors aren’t impressed when they look at us.

My Proposal  UCLA should open a new campus in  Siena  .   I am in Italy and have just spent two days in Siena.  I am convinced that ancient Siena is the future. Its quality of life is superb.   If UCLA is going to start to charge “Ivy League” tuition, then we will need to offer some thrills and this might do it.  I would be willing to teach there and I know where to take you for dinner.

Author: Matthew E. Kahn

Professor of Economics at UCLA.

12 thoughts on “UCLA Should Open a Campus in Siena, Italy”

  1. Just some positive comments for on campus accomodatinos at UCLA. Have benefited from the availability of the Tiverton House at UCLA [mentioned in the ‘hotel’ link]on numerous occasions – it may not be as luxurious as its neighbor the ‘W’ – but in overall functionality and value it is close and is a valuable UCLA asset.

  2. …and like Houston, they don’t have zoning. Therefore their quality of life is equal and Ricardian rent should be the same.

  3. I was in Sienna 20 years ago, and it was the most extraordinarily beautiful town I had ever seen. Sounds like it still is.

  4. “I was in Sienna 20 years ago, and it was the most extraordinarily beautiful town I had ever seen. Sounds like it still is”

    Yes indeed, my family spent a week in Siena (1 ‘n’) last summer and it was the most gorgeous week of our lives. Lots of other beautiful hilltop towns within an hours drive, too.

    Parking is awful on Saturdays though.

  5. Hey…

    Between USA nuclear experts helping out in Japan…
    And USA telling Qaddafi to stand down…
    It almost feels like an empire again capable of spreading its intellectual wealth.

    Then I remember that we can’t afford to air Ira Glass anymore…
    Or Click and Clack…
    Or A Prairie Home Companion…
    Or NPR books.

    Nor of course can we afford to do science anymore:

    The House cuts would translate into dramatic reductions in the budgets of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which directly supports ten national laboratories, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Senate compromise, a kind of best-case scenario for science, would keep those cuts below 5%.

    So don’t get your hopes up for Siena…

    http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/2011/03/budget_limbo_continues_for_us.html

  6. MandT says:

    “The UC system is undoubtedly the most corrupt corporation in America. Student interests come first? What a laugh.”

    Well, the administration must be the most pathetic corrupt b*st*rds on the face of the Earth then, considering how much damage other corrupt organizations do on a daily basis.

  7. The Palio Horse Race in Siena is absolutely thrilling, and ought to be worth at least a few college credits to those willing to participate.

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