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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Politics, Markets, and University Costs: Financing Universities in the Current Era

  • Author(s): Geiger, Roger L.
  • et al.
Abstract

The purpose of this study is to determine the factors shaping the financing of the principal universities of the United States, and to explore the consequences for institutions and for students. Revenues are the lifeblood of these or any other universities. The level of resources that universities command from society determines the level and scope of their activities, and who provides these resources greatly affects their behavior. Moreover, where resources are concerned, both inequality and inconsistency have been the rule. During the 1980s, universities generally were able to lift their resource levels above the depths of the late 1970s; in the 1990s, however, some prospered while others actually lost ground. The university expenditures that lie at the heart of the current controversy were shaped during these two decades, the current era for higher education.

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