Today at the University of California Regents meeting at the UC San Francisco Mission Bay Conference Center, the Regents will consider various measures for approval, including the approval of the tuition increase as proposed by the UC Office of the President and the Board of Regents.
The proposed tuition increase includes an annual increase of five percent over the next five years to provide financial stability. The increase has been opposed by the University of California Students Association, which created a petition calling for increased state funding to avoid the hike.
According to the UCSA’s petition entitled “UC Regents: Don’t Raise our Tuition!,” the proposal “uses students” and “holds them hostage.”
“The University of California Student Association (UCSA) rejects this tuition proposal, as it aims to use students as political pawns between the UC and the State Legislature, and holds students hostage for the future of their education,” the petition stated.
Spokesperson for the California Department of Finance H.D. Palmer said Governor Jerry Brown also opposes the proposed tuition increase.
According to the recommendation of the long term stability plan for tuition and financial aid on the agenda for today, tuition and fees will not increase above the proposed levels as long as the state provides minimum annual increases of four percent in State funding for the University’s permanent base budget, and continues to cover mandatory system-wide charges under the Cal Grant program. Thirty-three percent of undergraduate student tuition and fee increases and 50 percent of the graduate academic student tuition and student services fee increases will be set aside for financial aid.
The money set aside for financial aid is projected to cover tuition and fees, including the proposed increase, for about one half of anticipated UC undergraduates.
The proposal also recommends the UC President be able to buy out some or all of the proposed student tuition and fee increases in years where the State provides additional funding.
According to the executive summary of the proposal, students and families will be better able to plan for college expenses, and avoid the boom-and-bust-cycle which leads to students experiencing significantly different tuition levels based on when they apply. The proposal also allows for the enrollment of 5,000 additional California residents over the next five years.
Other measures the Board will consider include the approval of long-term plan for professional degree supplemental tuition (PDST) and approval of proposed 2015-16 professional degree supplemental tuition for nine specific programs at UC’s.
One of those programs is UCSB’s Technology Management Program (TMP). With regards to the TMP, PDST revenue will be used for new course and project offerings, faculty salaries, increased instructional support staff, financial aid and improved student facilities and instructional equipment.
Napolitano is also recommending the Committee on Long Range Planning recommend to the Regents that the Three-Year Financial Sustainability Plan requested by the Governor be approved, and the Regents will vote on whether to approve the budget for the 2014-15 year, in which the UC’s plan calls new expenditures totaling $459 million, a 6.6 percent increase over the current core-funded base budget.
Napolitano is also asking that the Committee on Finance recommend that the Regents adopt the 2013-14 Annual Financial Reports for the University of California and the University of California Retirement System.