On the third and final day of the University of California Board of Regents meeting, the full board approved a resolution to curtail freshmen enrollment and increase tuition if the state fails to allocate adequate funding.
The document adopted by the Regents, the 2009-10 operating budget for the UC, requests millions more in additional funding from the State of California in order to sustain current levels of growth and academic quality. If denied the requested funding, the document threatens to restrict freshmen enrollment next fall.
According to Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, if California’s elected officials fail to make necessary adjustments to the state budget, the UC’s ability to accept eligible students will be compromised.
“The proposed UC budget recognizes if the legislature and the governor do not provide the funding as requested, enrollment will be limited and qualified students will not be admitted,” Garamendi said in a prepared statement.
The budget also requests funding from the state equivalent to revenue that would be generated by a 9.4 percent increase in mandatory systemwide student fees. While the document does not specifically call to raise student fees, the board adopted an amendment stating fee increases would be necessary in the absence of increased state expenditure.
Specifics regarding the future of freshmen enrollment and student fee levels will be addressed in further detail at a later Regents meeting, following the release of the governor’s January state budget proposal.
According to the University of California Office of President, the state’s per-student spending for education at the UC has dropped nearly 40 percent since 1990. The operating budget calls for an $815 million revenue increase to cover enrollment growth, core academic needs, faculty and staff compensation and contributions to retirement funds.