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Regents Approve Increase in UC Fees

The University of California Board of Regents voted 15-5 to raise student tuition by eight percent during yesterday’s final day of meetings.

Their approval of an $822 tuition increase will take effect in the 2011-12 academic year, marking the tenth time in the last eight years that the board has increased educational costs. The average cost of in-state tuition will be boosted to $12,150 per year. Regents Odessa Johnson, Darek DeFreece and Charlene Zettel, along with California Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado and Student Regent Jesse Cheng were the only board members who voted against the fee increase.

The Regents also amended the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan — a UC financial aid plan that fully covers the tuition fees of California residents whose families earn less than $70,000 — to now exempt students whose annual household incomes reach up to $80,000. The board also decided to grant a one-year fee waiver for in-state students whose families earn less than $120,000.

Regents Chairman Russell Gould said the fee hike was unavoidable considering the University’s $1 billion budget deficit and the state’s projected $25.4 billion shortfall.

“It’s clear the Regents had a tough decision to raise fees,” Gould said in a UCOP press release. “The university is not out of the woods. We face the threat of mid-year state cuts and certainly cuts next year. The faculty, staff and students all have to work together for solutions.”

Additionally, the board raised professional school tuition by at least 31 percent — the cost varies by campus and program.

Together, the recently implemented UC tuition increases will contribute $115.8 million annually to the UC’s operating budget, with 33 percent of the undergraduate fee increase and half of the graduate fee hike earmarked for financial aid.

Furthermore, the board discussed a new pension policy for university employees hired after July 1, 2013. The new retirement plan would raise the minimum retirement age from 50 to 55. Workers will also not be able to receive full retirement benefits until age 65, as opposed to the previous minimum age of 60.

Under the amended policy, employees and the UC would need to contribute 7 percent and 8.1 percent, respectively, to retiree benefits.

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3 Responses to Regents Approve Increase in UC Fees

  1. Ethan Umbdenstock

    April 1, 2011 at 12:33 am

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  2. Dianna Zabriskie

    December 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    This post is off base. can I ask where you got your information? I disagree with several points. As I have followed thgis blog before this is the first time that I have not seen eye to eye with the writer.

  3. Milan Moravec

    November 21, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Fee increases and more budget from Sacramento do not remedy UC Berkeley problems. UC Berkeley Money for Consultants but Not for Sport
    When UC Berkeley announced its elimination of baseball, men’s and women’s gymnastics, and women’s lacrosse teams and its defunding of the national-champion men’s rugby team, the chancellor sighed, “Sorry, but this was necessary!”
    But was it? Yes, the university is in dire financial straits. Yet $3 million was somehow found to pay the Bain consulting firm to uncover waste and inefficiencies in UC Berkeley, despite the fact that a prominent East Coast university was doing the same thing without consultants.
    Essentially, the process requires collecting and analyzing information from faculty and staff. Apparently, senior administrators at UC Berkeley believe that the faculty and staff of their world-class university lack the cognitive ability, integrity, and motivation to identify millions in savings. If consultants are necessary, the reason is clear: the chancellor, provost, and president have lost credibility with the people who provided the information to the consultants. Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau has reigned for eight years, during which time the inefficiencies proliferated. Even as Bain’s recommendations are implemented (“They told me to do it”, Birgeneau), credibility and trust problems remain.
    Bain is interviewing faculty, staff, senior management and the academic senate leaders for $150 million in inefficiencies, most of which could have been found internally. One easy-to-identify problem, for example, was wasteful procurement practices such as failing to secure bulk discounts on printers. But Birgeneau apparently has no concept of savings: even in procuring a consulting firm, he failed to receive proposals from other firms.

    Students, staff, faculty, and California legislators are the victims of his incompetence. Now that sports teams are feeling the pinch, perhaps the California Alumni Association, benefactors and donators, and the UC Board of Regents will demand to know why Birgeneau is raking in $500,000 a year despite the abdication of his responsibilities.

    The author, who has 35 years’ consulting experience, has taught at University of California Berkeley, where he was able to observe the culture and the way the senior management operates.