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Going private

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by sackman, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    To my knowledge, it's never been done before. But we may see a wave of public universities going private over the next 10 years. Michigan, Cal, UCLA, Ohio State, Florida (hell, virtually all of the SEC schools), and of course CU are all state schools in states where public funding for higher education is taking a HUGE hit.

    I can't help but think that if CU were a private school, Hawk would have been fired.

    I wonder what the process would be to take a public school and make it a private one. Maybe in the case of CU, only CU-Boulder goes private, while the other campuses remain public. CSU is having big issues as well, maybe bigger than CU, because they don't have the foundation & endowments to fall back on that we have.
     
  2. wsp4820

    wsp4820 Sally Club Member Junta Member

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    I could be wrong, but didn't UVa go private a while back?
     
  3. absinthe

    absinthe Ambitious but rubbish. Club Member Junta Member

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    CU goes private your colorado born kids will be paying 30K a year to go to school...just something to think about.
     
  4. Liver

    Liver modded mod Club Member Junta Member

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    other schools have gone "quasi-private" i believe... penn state, i think, and also u. of pittsburgh maybe?

    it would be hard to do and i am not sure it is in the long term best interests of the school.

    how do you pay for the "plant"? (ie all the physical stuff)...

    what happens to the other campuses, particularly the med school which we have invested billions of dollars in?

    how would the endowment money be split, if at all, among all the campuses?

    if CU-Boulder were to be able to somehow go private by itself and keep the med center in denver and keep all the endowment money and get the state to gift the land and buildings to the school, i might be down with the whole idea. but, that seems like a lot of IFs...
     
  5. Liver

    Liver modded mod Club Member Junta Member

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    i think the answer to that part of the problem would be that you'd need a massive scholarship fund for in-state kids. the CU Foundation is already a very, very large endowment in terms of public school private endowment funds. maybe we could do something like arrange for CU to agree to admit like 30% in-state kids and give them some kind of scaling scholarship assistance or something? i dunno. i am just spitballin'...
     
  6. absinthe

    absinthe Ambitious but rubbish. Club Member Junta Member

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    Perhaps in return for a 99 year lease on the land? to be renewed at our option.
     
  7. Sexton Hardcastle

    Sexton Hardcastle Club Member Club Member

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    I remember talk about this back in 2003. So far it's just been talk. I guess I'd support whatever is best for the university. I hate to see anymore layoffs happen.
     
  8. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    There would be a ton of stuff to deal with. For instance, any action that would be done would have to be initiated by the Regents. The problem is that the Regents are publicly elected officials in the State of Colorado. Them taking the initiative to go private would be roughly akin to the state legislature disbanding itself.

    I'm not convinced the tuition would go up so high. Remember they're only getting a small percentage of their operating funds from the state to begin with. I've heard numbers of anywhere between 2% and 8%, but regardless of the actual amount, the rest is being made up elsewhere already.

    Another issue to consider would be whether a private school should have 30,000 students. I can't think of any private schools that are even close to that, but maybe they need the numbers to justify the size of the campus.

    Last, but certainly not least, is the fact that they'd have to start dealing directly with the morons at the City of Boulder and Boulder County. As a state entity, CU can effectively thumb it's nose at both the city and county in terms of building codes & other issues.

    Another off-the-wall alternative would be to sell all or part of the campus property off, and simply relocate the school. Obviously, that's never been done before either, and would entail all kinds of crazy stuff that I can't even begin to imagine, but as the political and economic climate changes, I think the leaders at CU need to be aware of their options, regardless of how insane they might sound right now. Who would have thought, 15 years ago, that CU would be getting less than 8% of it's operating budget from the state? Nobody, that's who. So who's to say that some of the stuff being proposed here is all that far fetched?
     
  9. Mick Ronson

    Mick Ronson Well-Known Member

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    USC is private and bigger than CU, I believe.

    I don't think it's necessarily a slam-dunk that being private would be beneficial to the sports programs. most privates don't emphasize sports in the same way publics do. moreover, much of the argumentation on this board and others about the necessity or at least beneficial aspects of successful athletics seem to revolve around the public model...attracting inflated out of state tuitions, etc.

    I think in 03 when this was discussed (by Hoffman) it was for CU to gain "enterprise" status....which may or may not be the same thing as a move to going private.

    I'm not in favor of CU becoming private per se, since i think the mandate of the university would likely change. Colorado has excellent to very good private options in CC and DU...if that's the way students want to fly.
     
  10. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    USC's enrollment per wiki:

    Faculty 4,597 (3,200 full time)
    Staff 14,300
    Students 33,389
    Undergraduates 16,729
    Postgraduates 16,660
    Alumni 190,080

    They have a much higher percentage of graduate students than CU has. CU's undergrad numbers are well into the 20's.

    The mandate of the university was established by the state. If the state is unable to continue funding the university, then they relinquish whatever mandate they had. CC and DU are excellent schools, true. But if the State of Colorado can't afford a top flight public university, than what are the options?

    In a perfect world, the state provides around a third of the operating expenses of the university, tuition & fees cover a third, and grants & endowments cover the remaining third. We're nowhere close to that now, and the numbers are getting worse, not better. At some point, the amount of public funding will go to zero. When that happens, CU becomes a de-facto private institution. To my way of thinking, it already is a de-facto private institution.
     
  11. ScottyBuff

    ScottyBuff Well-Known Member

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    Here is a very relevant article to this issue that you brought up, with strikingly similar backgrounds and underlying forces of the economy:

    Cash-Strapped State Schools Being Forced to Privatize
    This example is discussing U of Michigan, so the numbers would be different at CU, but the example is still relevant.

    Another interesting quote:

    At Public Universities: Less for More

    UC forms commission to discuss going private

    Should Public Universities Behave Like Private Colleges?

     
  12. buffs04

    buffs04 Well-Known Member

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    How would CU going private affect the value of a CU degree? I would think it would go up, perhaps significantly.
     
  13. Clean Undies

    Clean Undies Flagship of the 12-Pac Club Member

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    I could get behind a structure where the head coach and staff were not a state employees. If there were a way to privatize the CUAD, that would be sufficient for me.
    The CUAD would be a private contractor with a liscence that was contengent upon meeting NCAA compliance and university admission / academic standards. But the governence of the CUAD was a separate board that frees itself from the existing politics and public/state governance structure.
     
  14. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    If CU goes fully private, you get a much bigger say in how things get run. No more state legislatures or worrying about how this will play in La Junta or Walsenburg. The school will answer only to it's donors, alumni and students.
     
  15. Clean Undies

    Clean Undies Flagship of the 12-Pac Club Member

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    I frankly don't care one way or the other about the academic structure, except when it comes into direct conflict with the success of the CUAD, as was the case last week.

    I'd be happier at the prospect of buying shares that are lmited to the CUAD. That way, I'd know that my money wasn't being used to support the department of intergender native american peace and tolerace, or some other crap academic department.
     
  16. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    I view it as a package deal. I think academics is every bit as important as the athletics, and vice versa. I think there's a symbiotic relationship between the two in that neither can fully survive without the other. Athletics depends on academics for it's very existence - there'd be no athletic department if there wasn't a school. Academics relies on athletics to provide a bridge to the alumni base and to be a visible ambassador for the university, which helps bring in additional funding via donations, increased admission applications, etc. So while I understand your reluctance to have any money going to pay for research studies on the impact of climate change on the amazonian tree frog, I view it as all part of the same package.
     
  17. IDBUFF

    IDBUFF Active Member

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    try 40-50 k total per year - in my (onging) experience:cry::cry::cry:
     
  18. Clean Undies

    Clean Undies Flagship of the 12-Pac Club Member

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    Yeah. But what you are suggesting is akin to boiling the ocean. Both of us know that no elected official will ever work himself out of a job.

    I'm more focused on liberating the CUAD from the shackles that go along with having state employees on the payroll.

    As a first step, carve out the AD so that it's no longer falls under the the provisions of TABOR, limitations on the number and length of contracts, and all the administrative/political BS that keeps Bohn from becoming an effective steward to his ticket buying shareholders.

    A privatized CUAD could maintain as strong of a relationship as the contract allows.

    Besides, of the 6% that the state provides to the University, I'm pretty sure that the amount that trickles down to the CUAD is nominal. The state of Colorado has way too much influence over the hiring and firing decissions within the CUAD in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009

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