The Faculty Legislature passed the nonresident memorial with 487 members in favor and 22 opposing. Currently, California residents attending the UC pay $6,769 for undergraduate fees and $8,556 for graduate fees, while nonresidents pay an average of $24,589 for undergraduate tuition and $23,517 for graduate tuition.
Divisional Chair Walter Yuen said he hopes the Regents will approve the memorial so that the University may attract more out-of-state students.
“Over the past few years the fees go up and the tuition goes up, and it discourages many out-of-state students,” Yuen said. “We want to reverse that trend.”
Meanwhile, the UC and the state of California are currently being sued by 42 out-of-state students who allege that the University is giving illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates, violating a statute in the federal Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. The statute mandates that any public university or college allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state fees must do the same for out-of-state U.S. citizens.
However, according to California Assembly Bill 540, which was passed Jan. 1, 2002, any student who has a three-year attendance record and diploma from a California high school can pay in-state tuition at California public universities. Non-citizens who have completed the two requirements can apply for in-state tuition after filing an affidavit stating they will apply for U.S. citizenship.
The students suing the state and University allege AB 540 is in direct violation of a statute of the reform and responsibilities act, passed by Congress in 1998.
Members of the Faculty Legislature did not cite the lawsuit as a reason for their decision during the meeting yesterday.
Earlier in the year, UC spokeswoman Ravi Poorsina denied charges that AB 540 is in violation of the federal statute. She said the tuition exemption is not based on residency, but requirements that apply to all students. The UC general counsel is representing the UC in the lawsuit.
However, if the out-of-state students win the case, plaintiff attorney Michael Brady said earlier in the year that each student could receive up to $305,000 in damages.
Another issue discussed at yesterday’s Faculty Legislature meeting centered on increasing enrollment at UCSB. Chancellor Henry T. Yang said he would like the university to create a one-to-five ratio of graduate to undergraduate students. He also introduced Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2006-2007 state budget, which includes a student fee buyout of $75 million, thus stopping any fee increases for next year.
In addition, the College of Creative Studies bylaws were altered to change the College’s provost position to a dean position. CCS literature professor Robyn Bell said it was strictly a name change.
“The name provost has come to be associated with higher offices.” Bell said. “We have no provost on campus.”