By Brian Barsky, Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley
Berkeley Patch . Quoting the "deficit" in isolation is rather meaningless because this ignores subsidies which are the primary cost to the campus of IA.
The "deficit" is only the amount that the campus enables IA to exceed it subsidies. For each of the last two years, the Berkeley campus reported to the NCAA that IA was subsidized by $9-$10 million annually from the campus administration plus another $2-$3 million per year from student fees. What is meaningful is the actual annual cost to the campus to enable IA to spend much more than it generates, and that cost comes in the form of both direct subsidies and deficit spending.
The UC Berkeley Academic Senate resolution of Nov. 2009 recommended that the Chancellor enforce the existing UC policy that Intercollegiate Athletics be self-supporting (like parking and student residences), rather than continue enabling IA to overspend what it generates every year; however, that recommendation has not been followed.
Over these last two years, the campus has spent more propping up IA than what it obtained from the recent 9.6 percent student tuition fee increase. Ultimately, it is a matter of priorities, and students may wish to reflect on how these priorities directly affect their pocketbooks.
Beyond these annual operating costs, there is an even larger concern regarding the university's billion dollar commitment in construction costs and interest to cover the debt for the reconstruction of the stadium using borrowed funds. Interested Patch readers may read the recent New York Times article about this issue.
Prof. Barsky was one of eight UC Berkeley faculty members to author a 2009 resolution recommending the campus end all funding to intercollegiate athletics.
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