Student protesters yell about funding cuts every chance they get. California's public university leaders ring their hands about it every year before raising tuition.
Now the nation's top scientists have joined the chorus, having noticed through careful study that state funding has plunged 30 percent per student at California's public research institutions since 2002.
These schools - the University of California's 10 campuses and the California State University's San Diego campus - were included in a new study from the National Science Board revealing that spending on the nation's top 101 public research institutions plunged an average of 20 percent between 2002 and 2010 in inflation-adjusted dollars.
It's a problem with huge implications for the economy, said Rolph Lehming of the National Science Foundation, whose governing board produced the study that was presented to Congress on Wednesday.