Robert J. Birgeneau and Frank D. Yeary, the chancellor and vice chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, proposed in a Washington Post essay on Sunday that a select group of leading public universities receive federal funds for operating support. They cited the financial crisis facing many state universities, and said that "the federal government should create a hybrid model in which a limited number of our great public research and teaching universities receive basic operating support from the federal government and their respective state governments. Washington might initially choose a representative set of schools, perhaps based on their research achievements, their success in graduating students, commitment to public service and their record in having a student body that is broadly representative of society." The funds would be used "to ensure broad access and continued excellence at these universities. A portion of these resources would ensure that out-of-state and in-state students pay the same tuition and have access to the same financial aid packages. The combined federal-state funding must be sufficient for these universities to maintain their preeminence as well as charge moderate fees to all U.S. citizens and permanent residents."
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