Regents provide update on multi-year compact and graduate enrollment

The UC Regents’ Academic and Student Affairs Committee received an update on the UC’s four-year goal of increasing graduate student enrollment by 2,500 students at its Nov. 15 board meeting. 

The UC announced its multi-year compact — an agreement to accomplish several student-focused shared goals by 2027 — with Governor Gavin Newsom’s office in May 2022. The UC is mandated to provide annual reports on progress and actions taken toward accomplishing each goal.

According to the committee’s agenda item, the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) met with the Council of Chancellors and other campus representatives throughout 2023 to finalize enrollment goals based on each campuses’ 2022-23 enrollment rates. 

The campuses with the largest proposed enrollment rate boosts were UC Riverside, UC Davis and UC San Diego with 769, 761 and 612 additional students, respectively. Breaking down growth by subject area, 43% of the growth is expected in academic masters, 25% in health science graduate professionals and 16% in graduate professionals. 

Provost Katherine Newman noted that state support for enrollment growth is primarily directed toward undergraduate students, leaving graduate students forgotten.

“Most states don’t recognize the importance of graduate students in their funding allocations in the same way they do undergraduate growth … that’s why there’s a much more intentional focus on that in the compact,” Newman said.

No major adjustments to enrollment plans were proposed in the report, as the UC’s current enrollment objectives will fulfill the 2026-27 goal, according to the agenda item. UCOP will continue meeting with staff at each campus to identify developments related to admissions and enrollment.

UCOP is also partnering with the Academic Senate and campus leadership to host efforts such as the systemwide Congress on Innovations in Graduate Education that discussed the academic doctoral student experience.

Regents overview annual private philanthropy report

The UC Regents Public Engagement and Development Committee provided an overview of philanthropic activity across its system for the 2022-23 academic year during its Nov. 15 meeting. The annual report was presented by UCOP Executive Director Heather Kopeck.   

The UC campuses received a cumulative total of $3 billion from private philanthropy for the first time ever. 

Of the $3 billion, the UC received more than 396,000 gifts, $1 million total of large gifts, $279 million worth of scholarships and fellowship support, more than $233 million worth of alumni contributions, $1.2 billion worth of gifts in support of health and medicine and $147 million worth of gifts for endowed chairs. The institution also received assets under UC management for 2022 of over $529 million. 

The UC also received $22 million in unrestricted private support, and the UC endowment comprises over 20,000 individual funds that value to approximately $31 billion as of June 30, 2022. 

Kopeck congratulated the UC campuses for hitting the $3 billion threshold. 

“Our campuses are the ones who are the real heroes here,” she said. 

Kopeck emphasized that foundations are the UC’s largest private supporter, which is consistent across the sector of higher education. She spoke to research and departmental support as another private donor to note. 

“The research and departmental support categories really are the categories that are driving the excellence of the university mission and are critical to our teaching and research endeavors,” she said. 

Speaking to specific campus efforts, UCLA Executive Director for Scholarships and Student Support Initiatives Brittany Schoof discussed recently announced affordability initiatives toward lessening student loan burdens. 

“We all know the challenge of affordability has hit home for many individuals,” she said. “As a public institution, we are really determined to ensure that we’re providing a top-tier education that’s also affordable for our students.”

The Regents convened at UCLA for their Nov. 15 board meeting. Courtesy of the UC Regents Livestream

Regents discuss simplification of transfer admissions from CCCs to UCs

The Academic and Student Affairs Committee discussed streamlining the transfer process from California Community Colleges to the UC system at the Nov. 15 Board of Regents meeting.

The University of California Transfer Task Force — established in 2020 by UCOP and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) — released their final report in July 2022, citing eight recommendations regarding the simplification of the transfer admissions process from a California Community College (CCC) to a UC.

The Regents discussed implementing items three and four of the recommendations, as well as the UC’s role in two separate intersegmental groups working toward incorporating these items into the transfer preparation process.

Recommendation three centers around California Assembly Bill 1111, stating that a Common Course Numbering (CCN) system should be applied across all CCCs by July 1, 2024.

According to the bill, a CCN system would “increase consistency of CCC curricula for lower-division general education and major preparation, credit mobility, and clarity for students on the applicability of CCC courses meeting UC and CSU admission and baccalaureate degree program requirements.” 

Executive Vice Chancellor for the Equitable Student Learning, Experience and Impact Office for the CCCCO Aisha Lowe provided insight about the Assembly Bill 1111 CCN Task Force workgroup’s plan to implement and expand CCN to over 40,000 courses.

“The plan outlines the necessary governance structure and working groups for a phased implementation of what will ultimately be over 40,000 courses, with priority given to general education and transfer pathway courses demonstrating both commonality across community colleges and enrollment popularity,” Lowe said.

“Common course numbering is a historic opportunity for community colleges for transfer efficiency and opportunity and will ultimately serve as an indispensable tool for student success and equity,” Lowe continued.

Recommendation four is to implement Assembly Bill 928, which cuts down general education requirements to decrease the amount of excess units and repeated courses CCC students accumulate once transfering. The ultimate goal of the bill is to “establish a singular lower division general education pathway that meets the academic requirements for transfer admission to the California State University and the University of California.”

The bill recommends streamlining “lower-division general education (GE) transfer requirements and college major preparation by consolidating requirements, supporting the development of courses that fulfill multiple requirements, and expanding opportunities for prospective transfer students to complete core courses at CCCs.”

The Assembly Bill 928 Implementation Committee was also established as part of the bill to spearhead the addition of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) as the main pathway for transfer students in order to close equity and opportunity gaps based on race and ethnicity.

“The AB 928 Implementation Committee seeks to strengthen the ADT pathway for students and to ensure that it becomes the primary transfer pathway in California between campuses of the CCCs, UC, the CSU, and participating independent institutions of higher education,” the plan read.

Newman said the simplification of the transfer process will eventually lead to the UC achieving its goal of increasing the number of transfer students enrolled.

“The University is also committed to meeting its master plan target to enroll one new California transfer student for every two new California freshmen,” Newman said.

Chief Compliance and Audit Officer Bustamante details ECAS annual report

The UC Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance and Audit Officer Alex Bustamante presented to the Regents’ Compliance and Audit Committee at its Nov. 15 meeting, outlining the key points of the Ethics, Compliance and Audit Services 2022-23 Annual Report.

The Office of Ethics, Compliance and Audit Services (ECAS) works with the 10

UC campuses, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UCOP and the six academic health centers to provide “direction, education, oversight for president policy process, investigatory services, auditing and monitoring, guidance and resources to the University to optimize ethical and compliant behavior,” according to the ECAS website.

The report highlights various ECAS activities, projects and reports of investigative data from the 2022-23 fiscal year.

When asked what the Regents should take away from the report, Bustamante said that cybersecurity has become a major objective of ECAS and will likely continue to be an issue that the UC will have to combat.

“Cyber security is going to continue to be a huge issue … as well as just the general vulnerability that a federated system like ourself has with all the types of information that people would want to get their hands on,” Bustamante said.

A version of this article appeared on p. 3 of the Nov. 30, 2023, print edition of the Daily Nexus.

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Sindhu Ananthavel
Sindhu Ananthavel (she/they) is the Lead News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Ananthavel was the Deputy News Editor for the 2022-23 school year, the Community Outreach News Editor for the 2021-22 school year and an assistant news editor for the 2021-22 school year. She can be reached at news@dailynexus.com.
Asumi Shuda
Asumi Shuda (they/them) is the Co Lead News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Shuda was the Community Outreach News Editor for the 2022-23 school year and the 2021-22 school year and an Assistant News Editor during the 2020-21 school year. They can be reached at asumishuda@dailynexus.com or news@dailynexus.com.
Alex Levin
Alex Levin (he/him) is the University News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Levin was the Assistant News Editor for the 2022-2023 school year. He can be reached at alexlevin@dailynexus.com.
Anushka Ghosh Dastidar
Anushka Ghosh Dastidar (she/her) is the Community Outreach News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Ghosh Dastidar was the Assistant News Editor for the 2022-2023 school year. She can be reached at anushkagd@dailynexus.com or news@dailynexus.com.