By, Andrew Hucks |Staff Writer|
Senator Leland Yee (D- San Francisco) and retiring CSU Chancellor Charles B.Reed had a back and forth exchange of report cards, scoring one another on their support of legislation for higher education.
In a first-of-its-kind report Reed blasted Yee and 20 other assembly membersby giving them failing grades for their handling of different bills for higher education brought to the assembly and either supported or opposed by the chancellor during the 2011-2012 session.
“The intent of the legislative scorecard is to inform the public on lawmakers’ support of the CSU and public higher education,’’ explained the introduction of
Reed’s report.“The state’s elected officials are accountable to support the CSU in achieving its mission and goals.”
Some of the bills supported by the CSU were related to funding of the higher education system, giving scholarships to illegal immigrants and closing corporate tax loopholes to increase student aid, according to the LA Times.
Senate Republican caucus spokesperson Hector Barajas believes that this scorecard was a waste of taxpayer money and the CSU’s time.
“The main objection is they are a state agency and they should be focusing on getting students to graduate from college,” said Barajas. “To spend all this time and effort on a scorecard seems a bit absurd.”
The LA Times reported that the twitter-sphere was conflicted with “some seeing it as a bold last move as he heads for the door. Others thought it was inappropriate and misleading.”
Reed gave Yee a failing grade after he authored two bills supported by students, faculty and university workers, but opposed by the CSU.
Yee’s failing grade comes as a shock to many after consistent 100 percent scores by the California State Student Association and the Legislator of the Year Award from the California Faculty Association.
According to a press release from Yee’s office, “SB 967 would have prohibited pay hikes for top administrators during bad budget years or within two years of a student fee increase. SB 1515 would have designated seven of the 25 trustees to be students, faculty, or workers from within the university system.”
Yee did not take his “D” grade laying down, instead issuing his own report card for Reed who scored an “F” in transparency, affordability, accountability, access, advocating for students, advocating for faculty, advocating for workers and an “A+” in advocating for top executives.
“I’m proud of my D score on his report card,” said Yee, who called the chancellor’s report “a sham” and that, “Rather than fighting for students and faculty, the CSU administration used taxpayer funds to advocate for themselves and their fellow top executives.”
Students such as Sara Nydam seem to be siding with Yee on this issue.
“It seems fair that if our cost of tuition goes up then top executives can’t get a raise within two years, because that’s their job,” said Nydam. “Their job is to advocate for the students.”
Be it a bold innovation for holding assembly members accountable or an outright “sham,” the tit for tat between the chancellor and the senator may be how we remember Reed as he closes the door on his chancellorship.