Just finished my first year at Berkeley and thought I'd chime in on concerns about the dean's lack of response to the economic crisis / ongoing budget concerns. Every semester he holds a town hall meeting for students where he goes over the school's finances and talks about these sorts of things.
DE is not without his critics, but I have found him pretty transparent about most of these issues. His basic talking points at these things are that:
- His vision is to make and keep Berkeley the best law school it can be by
- spending more money on faculty and facilities, and
- by changing the culture of alumni donations,
- raising fees enough to fund a generous LRAP program that makes it possible for graduates to pursue public interest careers (basically shifting the cost to graduates that choose to go on to make big money)
- Compared with the rest of campus, the law school is on pretty stable financial ground because most of our money from Sacramento dried up long before the most recent crisis and we planned accordingly.