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Friday, September 02, 2005

UC Merced 

One of my new favorite 'Daddy Blogs' is Pops' Bucket (note the proper use of the apostrophe. Who said History degrees weren't useful?). One of the things he points out about himself is that he has degrees from the two least prestigious UC campuses. But that is about to change. UC Merced is going to open in just a couple of days, which will move UC Irvine and UC Riverside out of the doghouse. And, not incidentally, will also incrementally increase the cachet of my own Alma Mater UC Santa Barbara. But you ask (I can hear you internets, don't worry), why are you writing about this? It's like this, I want even fewer people to read this than if I had put it in a comment on Pops' Bucket.

I remember way back when, when UC Merced was first proposed. *(And let's be honest, UC Fresno should be its name, but Merced sounds cooler.) The reason given for building it out there was that there was this terrible coastal bias in the UC system. All the campuses (except Riverside) were either right on the beach or within easy striking distance of salt water. This was just a terrible disservice to those California residents who made their homes East of US 101. It was put forth that they would be much more likely to apply to the UC if only they had a campus where they would feel comfortable. A campus in their native environment. That is perhaps the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Let's say you live in Blythe, or Barstow, or Bakersfield and you really really want to go to the University of California. Would you rather go to Santa Barbara or San Diego or Santa Monica or Fresno? Lets be serious here, the UC probably does need a new campus and building one in Fresno has to be a lot cheaper than building one in, say, San Luis Obispo, but excusing it as way to ease the tender sensibilities of our inland neighbors is just silly.

And just to prove how important education is to the modern Republican Party, Governor Arnie won't be attending the Grand Opening of the first new UC campus in 40 years. The dink.

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