Financialization is a National Problem.

Financialization is the increasing influence of the financial sector (its methods, motivations, and actors) on decisions made for institutions, like universities or government, whose missions are not profit-centered. This influence creates a shift away from the original intent of the organization.

 

This is why many universities' board of trustees members have backgrounds in finance, trading, and banking, rather than education. In the context of higher ed, it also means cutting long-term investments in students and faculty and putting money towards short-term revenue generating projects like new buildings, flashy marketing initiatives, and high-risk, high-reward investing.

When our administrators only look at the bottom line, we don't prioritize student and faculty resources essential to UC simply because they fail to make a profit. Having some financially-minded B.O.T. members is important, and long term strategies and revenue-driven projects are good for the university. But too much of this is what we, and most college students in America, are experiencing: financialization of higher education.

Further reading on financialization: