California Governor Jerry Brown said that universities should be more like Chipotle and stop giving students so many options for classes in an address on May 23 to the California Chamber of Commerce.
“What I like about Chipotle is the limited menu. You stand in the line, get either brown rice or white rice, black beans or pinto beans,” Brown said. “You put a little cheese, a little this, a little that, and you’re out of there. I think that’s a model some of our universities need to follow.”
With increased pressure to improve graduation rates of the California State University (CSU) system, Brown believes that adopting a “limited menu concept” is the best way to ensure people graduate on time.
“They have so damn many courses because all these professors want to teach one of their pet little projects, but then you get thousands and thousands of courses, and then the basic courses aren’t available. It takes kids six years instead of four years,” Brown said.
While Brown believes reducing expenses and the number of classes will ensure higher graduation rates, the UC and CSU systems argue that they need increased funding to keep up with enrollment growth. Both systems successfully lobbied the State Legislature for increased funding and both systems were granted more money than the Governor originally proposed.
Brown believes universities should instead “live within their means” and not request or pay professors any more money. He wants colleges to create more three-year tracks, since many students do not graduate within four years.
“A state’s budget is a reflection of its values. It’s been clear that Governor Brown doesn’t see quality and affordable education to be of importance,” said AS Vice President of External Affairs Caroline Siegel-Singh. “Statements like this detract from the fact that most issues being faced by UC and CSU students are a direct result of state disinvestment in higher education. It’s time for the Governor in his last year in office to invest in students.”
Ethan Coston is an Assistant News Editor for The Triton. You can follow him @Ethan4Books