The Buzz: UC Riverside is best college value, according to Time’s Obama-style rankings

April 30, 2014 

UC President Janet Napolitano says she’s skeptical of college ranking formats. Even so, the system she leads did well in Time magazine’s recent listing.

HECTOR AMEZCUA — hamezcua@sacbee.com

  • Bill watch

    Lacking votes, Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, pulled Assembly Bill 1437, which sought to ensure that ranchers give animals antibiotics mainly to treat illnesses, rather than for preventive reasons. Proponents argue that food producers lace feed and water with antibiotics to promote weight gain and compensate for unsanitary conditions associated with mass meat production. Agriculture industry critics counter that producers need flexibility to treat sick animals and prevent disease outbreaks.

    – Jeremy B. White

UC Riverside tops rankings system favored by Obama

What college offers the best bang for your buck?

High school seniors face that difficult question annually, but Time magazine may have found the surprising answer: the University of California, Riverside.

The campus is often overshadowed by flashier UC peers like Berkeley and Los Angeles, but it scored highest in a simulation of President Barack Obama’s proposed college ratings scorecard.

Announced last August to much controversy, the system would assess metrics such as graduation rate, tuition costs and percentage of students who receive Pell Grants, the federal low-income scholarship, to determine which schools offer the best value.

Other UC campuses ranked in the top 10 on Time’s list, including San Diego (second), Irvine (fourth) and Davis (sixth).

So far, UC President Janet Napolitano has been an outspoken critic of the proposed ratings system.

“I am deeply skeptical that there are criteria that can be developed that are in the end meaningful, because there will be so many exceptions once you get down to it,” she told the Washington Post in December. “It’s not like – you know, you’re not buying a car or a boat.”

– Alexei Koseff

Worth repeating

“I actually wanted to have a state satellite. Couldn’t pull it off.”

Jerry Brown, in 2012, recalled this week as he signed a 10-year property tax break for private space companies. Brown once proposed a $5.8 million communications satellite system.

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