2014年8月14日 星期四

Earl Cheit, Haas visionary and campus leader

Earl F. Cheit teaching at the University of California, Berkeley.CreditHaas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
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Earl F. Cheit, an educator who in 1970 wrote a sobering, influential report saying that two-thirds of the colleges and universities in the United States were in or near grave financial difficulty, died on Aug. 2 at his home in Kensington, Calif. He was 87.
The University of California, Berkeley, where he was a longtime administrator and professor,announced the death, giving the cause as cancer.
Dr. Cheit’s 250-page report, titled “The New Depression in Higher Education” and sponsored by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, examined 41 private and public colleges and universities in 21 states and the District of Columbia. Based on research Dr. Cheit (pronounced “chite”) directed, it found that 70 percent of these were either in financial difficulty or “headed for trouble.”
The analysis was particularly jolting because it came as baby boomers were flocking to campuses, which had expanded to meet the demand. Research at universities had grown exponentially as course offerings and majors increased.
The reason for alarm, Dr. Cheit wrote, was that costs faced by colleges were rising at a faster rate than income. He said that if the institutions were to prosper, federal and state governments would have to contribute substantially more funds. At the same time, the report said, colleges and universities needed to cut costs and raise tuition.
The findings were the basis of a front-page article in The New York Times and the subject of dismay in a Times editorial. Academic papers still cite the study.
“The future capacity of higher education to serve the country’s youth, and the nation itself, is in jeopardy at the very moment when its top priority ought to be the costly unfinished task of extending equal educational opportunities to the poor and deprived,” the editorial in The Times said.
In a two-year follow-up study, in which Dr. Cheit participated, universities and colleges were said to have brought their finances into better balance and achieved “a fragile stability.” But the study warned that they were still “living on borrowed time.”
Over the next 40 years, pessimism proved more than justified. The cost of tuition, room, board and fees increased at greater than the rate of inflation at both public and private colleges. State-run institutions endured repeated cutbacks in funding by legislatures, while private ones had to discount the list price of tuition selectively for families who could not or would not pay it.
Part of the solution was round after round of cost-cutting. Colleges fired professors, hired part-time replacements and shut facilities. More recently, some have turned to online courses to reach more students more cheaply.
But a huge gap remained. That was filled by student loans, which theConsumer Financial Protection Bureau, an independent federal agency, estimates now exceed $1 trillion. In the years after the report, politicians debated whether to increase grants or loans to meet college students’ needs, and loans won out.
“We rely on debt by default, as it is the only way to fill the gap between family resources, need-based grants and rising college prices,” David W. Breneman, an economist at the University of Virginia, wrote in The Chronicle of Higher Education in 2002.
Earl Frank Cheit was born in Minneapolis on Aug. 6, 1926, but considered Hague, N.D., the wheat and cattle town where he grew up, his real birthplace. “My mother went to Minneapolis because there was no doctor in Hague,” he told The Times in 1970.
He graduated from Hague High School in a class of eight and went on to earn undergraduate and law degrees, as well as a doctorate in economics, from the University of Minnesota. His thesis sought to disprove the commonly held belief that generous compensation for workers injured on the job would result in “malingering.” While at the university, he supported himself as a copy boy for The Minneapolis Star, a short-order cook and a busboy at a hospital.
After getting his Ph.D. in 1954, he taught at St. Louis University in the mid-1950s, then joined Berkeley as a visiting associate professor of economics and a research economist at the university’s Institute of Industrial Relations. He later became its director. His writing further explored compensation for occupational injuries and addressed social issues like increasing women’s presence in the work force.
Dr. Cheit was twice dean of the Haas School of Business at Berkeley, from 1976 to 1982 and in the 1990-91 academic year. When the campus erupted in a so-called free speech protest in 1964, he was elected to an emergency committee of the academic senate. The next year, he was named executive vice chancellor of the campus.
In an interview with The Times in 1968, Dr. Cheit attributed the protest, a precursor to campus demonstrations around the country, to “underadministration.” He said not enough money was available under the budget to establish channels for student and faculty advice to be heard.
Dr. Cheit is survived by his wife of 63 years, the former June Doris Andrews; his daughters, Danielle Cheit and Julie Ross; his sons, David and Ross; and three grandchildren.

Earl Cheit, Haas visionary and campus leader, dies at 87

Earl Cheit, former dean and professor emeritus at the Haas School of Business, died of cancer Aug. 2. He was 87.
Cheit, known by many as “Budd,” served as dean of the business school, which he joined almost six decades ago, from 1976 to 1982 and 1990-91. During his time at UC Berkeley, he held several other senior campus positions including executive vice chancellor, athletic director and UC vice president of financial and business management.
“I can’t think of anyone whose variety of services to the campus has been so significant,” said Haas professor David Vogel, a member of the school’s business and public policy group, which was founded by Cheit. “A major part of his life and commitment was to Berkeley and many different aspects of it. His legacy at the school and at the university is a very permanent one.”
David Aaker, a professor emeritus at Haas, described Cheit as a distinctively effective leader and remembered his surprise when the hallways of Barrows Hall — where the business school was previously located — were painted just months after Cheit took over as dean.
“We always thought, ‘Well, Berkeley is a bureaucracy, and nobody can get anything done,’ and Budd Cheit … completely changed the curriculum,” Aaker said. “He was just an incredible talent and an incredible person.”
During his time at Haas, Cheit embedded a passion for interest in teaching in the school, said Haas senior lecturer Sara Beckman. The business school’s award for excellence in teaching and one of the building’s classroom wings were named after Cheit.
Cheit also played a critical role in fundraising for Haas, Vogel said. His close relationship with the family of Walter A. Haas Sr., an alumnus of the business school and former president and chair of Levi Strauss & Co., led the way to securing funding for a new building of the school.
Aside from academics, Cheit was also passionate in the arts and was founding chair of the Cal Performances Board of Trustees.
Matias Tarnopolsky, director of Cal Performances, recalled Cheit’s reaction when he was invited to sit onstage as the renowned Takacs Quartet played after he was presented with the Cal Performances Award of Distinction in the Performing Arts from the board of trustees in 2010.
“The sheer enjoyment, his enjoyment about sitting amongst these great artists and being in the middle of the sound, that twinkle in his eye, that broad smile, that soaking up the music — that’ll be my overriding memory of him,” Tarnopolsky said.
Cheit served as campus executive vice chancellor from 1965 to 1969 and interim athletic director from 1993 to 1994. These diverse roles Cheit held are a testament to his dedication to UC Berkeley, said his son, Dave Cheit.
“One of the great constants in my entire life has been how much he loved the University, the campus, and the Golden Bears,” Dave Cheit, who graduated from UC Berkeley in 1974 and the UC Berkeley School of Law in 1985, said in an email.
Cheit’s success in such a variety of positions stemmed from his compassion and ability to connect with people, said Haas professor John Morgan, who saw Cheit as a mentor.
“He was interested in people, whereas many academics are just interested in ideas … That’s really reflected in the breadth of his involvement,” Morgan said. “Where Budd’s true passion lay was either doing extraordinary things himself or enabling others to do extraordinary things.”
Cheit is survived by his wife, June Cheit, four children and three grandchildren.
A memorial service for Cheit will be held on campus in the fall.

Somin Park is a news editor. Contact her at sominpark@dailycal.org and follow her on Twitter @_sominpark

The Useful Arts and the Liberal Tradition by Earl F. Cheit - jstor