The UC Board of Regents voted to endorse Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed tax initiative, which would save the 10-campus system from a 20.3 percent tuition hike in the 2012-2013 year, during their July meeting at UC San Francisco Mission Bay.
In a 25-1 vote with only Regent Russell Gould dissenting, the Board solidified their support for
Proposition 30 after UC President Mark Yudof and several members of the Academic Senate pushed for the endorsement. If Brown’s initiative passes, the UC will receive $125 million in state funding and forgo its planned midyear tuition hike; if the measure fails, the system will grapple with a $375.4 million budget deficit. Yudof only recently urged for support of the tax because it did not become eligible for the November ballot until late last June, according to UC spokesperson Steve Montiel.
“Until this latest meeting, he had not proposed this to the Regents [because] it only got on the ballot just a few weeks before that,” Montiel said. “The sense was that a proposal should not be made until the measure actually qualified for the ballot.”
The proposition would also fund various recently cut health and education programs through a quarter-cent sales tax bump and increased income taxes for those earning over $250,000 a year.
Montiel said the UC community has rallied in support of Brown’s initiative, demonstrating a commitment to work with state officials in getting the system back on its feet.
“That memorial [in favor of Prop 30] was supported by more than 3,000 members of the Academic Senate,” Montiel said.
While undergraduate tuition will remain frozen through the academic year if Brown’s measure succeeds, the Board voted to increase tuition for more than 50 of the system’s graduate programs for 2012- 2013. Student fees for nursing programs at Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles and San Francisco are set to jump 35 percent while Berkeley’s Haas School of Business will see a 23 percent tuition hike.
Despite such drastic cuts, Associated Students External Vice President of Statewide Affairs Nadim Houssain said university officials should freeze undergraduate tuition regardless of how Californians vote this November.
“They should not raise tuition either way. I don’t think it’s fair for them to raise tuition if [the measure] doesn’t pass,” Houssain said, “but I do think this initiative has a good chance of passing.”
The proposition’s success depends on the votes of students and other supporters statewide, according to Houssain, since university members “can’t depend” on the Regents to avoid tuition hikes.