A Matter of Degree: California Spending on Prisons and Higher Education

Watch the Live! recording of the discussion:

California’s public universities and colleges got a bump in funding this year, but so did the state’s prisons. In fact, the percentage of the state budget dedicated to higher education has declined over the past four decades, while the share going toward incarceration has reached an all-time high. Simultaneously, demand for post-secondary education has skyrocketed, and the prison population, at least in the last few years, has plummeted.

Why has California invested so heavily in incarceration while divesting from higher education?

To hear the answer to this question and many others, join the Cal Alumni Association and the Goldman School of Public Policy for “A Matter of Degree: California Spending on Prisons and Higher Education”, the latest in our CALIFORNIA Live! discussion series. Veteran reporter Kim Baldonado ’87 will moderate the discussion with expert panelists Robert Birgeneau, Chancellor Emeritus, UC Berkeley; Carol Liu ’63, C.EAS ’82, former California state senator; and Steven Raphael Ph.D. ’96, professor of public policy at UC Berkeley.

Event Details

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Los Angeles Music Center
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 5th Floor
135 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012


7:00 p.m. | Reception and light refreshments
7:45 p.m. | Panel discussion and Q&A


Robert Birgeneau Ph.D., Chancellor Emeritus, UC Berkeley
Carol Liu ’63, C.EAS ’82, Former California State Senator and Chair of the Senate Education Committee
Steven Raphael Ph.D. ’96, Professor and James D. Marver Chair in Public Policy


Kim Baldonado ’87, News Reporter, NBC4 Los Angeles


imageRobert Birgeneau Ph.D.
Chancellor Emeritus, UC Berkeley

Robert J. Birgeneau became the ninth chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, on September 22, 2004 and served until May 31, 2013. An internationally distinguished physicist, he is a leader in higher education and is well known for his commitment to diversity and equality in the academic community. During his service as Chancellor, Birgeneau strengthened UC Berkeley’s standing as one of the top universities, public or private, in the world. Under his leadership, Berkeley became the first university in the United States to offer comprehensive financial aid to undocumented students and the first public university to provide significant financial aid to middle-class students.

imageCarol Liu ’63, C.EAS ’82
Former California State Senator and Chair of the Senate Education Committee

Carol Liu served in the California State Assembly from 2000–2006 and in the state Senate from 2008–2016. Carol’s areas of focus in the state legislature included public education, services for the disadvantaged, poverty, criminal justice system reform, aging and long-term care, transportation, and environmental protection. Carol chaired the Higher Education Committee in the Assembly and the Education Committee in the Senate. In the Assembly, she served as a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education and as a member of the National Commission on Accountability in Higher Education. As a senator, she served on the Legislative Advisory Committee of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Carol also serves on the Cal Alumni Association Board of Directors.

imageSteven Raphael Ph.D. ’96
Professor and James D. Marver Chair in Public Policy

Goldman School of Public Policy Professor Steven Raphael has a Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley. His research focuses on crime, public policy, employment discrimination, labor economics, racial inequality, urban economics, and criminal justice policy. Raphael is the co-author of Why Are So Many Americans in Prison?


imageKim Baldonado ’87
News Reporter, NBC4 Los Angeles

Kim Baldonado is a veteran journalist for NBC4 in Los Angeles. She has earned six Emmy awards for her work, which includes in-depth reports on Los Angeles public schools and the rise of homelessness among women and children. While focused on news in southern California, she has also reported live from Havana, Cuba, the Vatican, and Sydney, Australia. Baldonado began her journalism career as a student at Berkeley when she was chosen for the Cal in the Capital program, which provided her with an internship with the ABC News Bureau in Washington DC. She also credits Berkeley for instilling in her a commitment to giving back, and has been a volunteer mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters for 8 years.


What is CALIFORNIA Live! ?
The CALIFORNIA Live! lecture series brings innovative ideas emanating from UC Berkeley and featured in California magazine to venues near you. The series explores everything from politics to diversity; from technology to popular culture. Come hear Berkeley’s finest minds discuss today’s important issues, then join the conversation.
Will you be able to accommodate walk-ups the night of the event?
We anticipate being able to accept a very small number of walk-ups on the night of the event. We will accommodate on a first come, first served basis.
Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?
Please bring your photo ID if you plan on enjoying alcoholic beverages. There are no age restrictions for this event.

See previous CALIFORNIA Live! Events >>