The University of California at Los Angeles took a major step on Thursday away from public support of its full-time M.B.A. program when the Legislative Assembly of its Academic Senate narrowly approved a plan to transform the program from state-supported to self-supporting. According to a UCLA news release, the vote—53 to 46, with three abstentions—would not privatize the Anderson School of Management, which would “remain integral to the campus,” although some other programs in the school are already self-supporting.
To take effect, the M.B.A. proposal still needs approval from the systemwide Academic Senate as well as the university’s president, Marc G. Yudof. UCLA’s chancellor, Gene Block, supports the proposal as a way to preserve quality at a time of withering state support for higher education.
Under the plan, state funds that currently go to the school would be available for use elsewhere on the campus and the school would replace those funds with charitable gifts. A tuition increase would also be likely. The proposal, which was previously rejected by the campus’s Graduate Council, would allow the school greater flexibility to plan growth and to allocate faculty needs.
Critics of the plan, the Los Angeles Times reported, regard it as a step toward privatization, a trend that could accelerate at other business schools as well as law schools in the UC system, which could finance such a move by tapping rich alumni and charging higher tuition.