October 28th, 2010 | Uncategorized

Yale third when it comes to congressmen

This election cycle members of the Tea Party have made the point that elitists from Ivy League schools dominate the U.S. national government, especially Congress. They may have a point.

An article in U.S. News & World Report revealed that Yale, with six senators and four congressmen, has produced the third most sitting members of Congress of any college. Harvard and Stanford took the top two spots on the list with 15 and 11 current members of Congress respectively.

In the House, Harvard accounts for 10 representatives while in the Senate, Yale edges out both Harvard and Stanford, each with five senators. Two current Senate standing committees chairmen also hail from Yale: John Kerry ’66 and Joe Lieberman ’64, LAW ’67.

However, outside the top three spots, public state schools dominate the list. University of Florida, Louisiana State University, University of Georgia and the University of California system all made the top ten.

  • Moravecglobal

    Did UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau have to cancel sports? NO! UC Berkeley’s Leadership Crisis
    UC Berkeley’s recent elimination of popular sports programs highlighted endemic problems in the university’s management. Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s eight-year fiscal track record is dismal indeed. He would like to blame the politicians in Sacramento, since they stopped giving him every dollar he has asked for, and the state legislators do share some responsibility for the financial crisis. But not in the sense he means.

    A competent chancellor would have been on top of identifying inefficiencies in the system and then crafting a plan to fix them. Competent oversight by the Board of Regents and the legislature would have required him to provide data on problems and on what steps he was taking to solve them. Instead, every year Birgeneau would request a budget increase, the regents would agree to it, and the legislature would provide. The hard questions were avoided by all concerned, and the problems just piled up to $150 million of inefficiencies….until there was no money left.

    It’s not that Birgeneau was unaware that there were, in fact, waste and inefficiencies in the system. Faculty and staff have raised issues with senior management, but when they failed to see relevant action taken, they stopped. Finally, Birgeneau engaged some expensive ($3 million) consultants, Bain & Company, to tell him what he should have been able to find out from the bright, engaged people in his own organization.

    From time to time, a whistleblower would bring some glaring problem to light, but the chancellor’s response was to dig in and defend rather than listen and act. Since UC has been exempted from most whistleblower lawsuits, there are ultimately no negative consequences for maintaining inefficiencies.

    In short, there is plenty of blame to go around. But you never want a serious crisis to go to waste. An opportunity now exists for the UC president, Board of Regents, and California legislators to jolt UC Berkeley back to life, applying some simple check-and-balance management principles. Increasing the budget is not enough; transforming senior management is necessary. The faculty, Academic Senate, Cal. Alumni, financial donators, benefactors and await the transformation.
    The author, who has 35 years’ consulting experience, has taught at University of California Berkeley, where he was able to observe the culture and the way the senior management operates.

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