UCLA alumnus, Meyer and Renee Luskin, announced that they are donating $100 million to UCLA, half of which is going directly to The School of Public Affairs. Because of this generous donation, the school will be renamed The Meyer and Renee Luskin School of Public Affairs (officially on March 18, 2011). According to the LA Times, this is the second largest donation in UCLA's history (David Geffen holds the top spot at $200 million for the Geffen Medical School).
This gift could not come at a more pressing time. Governor Jerry Brown recently announced budget cuts of $500 million in funding for UC campuses. Tuition is increasing for students across the board (8% for MSW students for the 2011-2012 academic year), and the Restructuring Steering Committee is looking for ways to trim fat in any way they can.
According to Chancellor Block, the money will be used to fund an endowment, build a new conference building for the Luskin Center, support research, and develop new programs in urban planning and social justice.
What does this mean, specifically for students in the MSW program? I'm not quite sure. What I do know is that in order for the program to continue to attract talent, in addition to compete with USC, tuition costs must remain affordable and competitive.