UC Board of Regents November Meeting Recap

Budget problems and tuition increases on the list for the Regents and Governor Jerry Brown.

2013-2014 Budget

The UC Regents approved the 2013-14 Budget on the second day of their Nov. 13-15 meetings last week. The budget includes efforts to reduce costs and increase alternative revenues, along with funding for 39 major projects in new facilities and renovations. It also outlines several short and long term strategies for generating revenue.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom expressed his frustration, calling the meeting “Groundhog Day” in regards to what he called a lack of new ideas. Newsom said the budget was “unrealistic” in assuming a $267 million increase in state funding and projected a minimum six percent tuition increase for the next year under the passed budget.

Newsom also emphasized that Proposition 30, passed last week and projected to save $250 million this year in trigger cuts, does not create new funds specifically for the UC system.

Governor Jerry Brown echoed these concerns, calling for alternative solutions for increasing UC revenue.

UC President Mark Yudof said the approved budget is not a finished product and that there are issues that still need to be worked out.

UC Student Regent Jonathan Stein urged for UC administrators to ask Sacramento for another tuition buyout for 2013-2014 and match the buyout in 2012-13, which was a result of the passage of Proposition 30. President Yudof also expressed his support for the buyout.

The Regents and UC administrators also denied a report published last week that alleged Proposition 30 funding would be used to pay banks on Wall Street.

Out-of-state Enrollment

The Regents also discussed adopting a formal policy on enrolling out-of-state students. UC administrators proposed increasing nonresident enrollment to boost revenue from a 10 percent system-wide enrollment.

Opponents including Student Regent Jonathan Stein said the increase would limit access to the UC system for California residents.

Stein said he would not be opposed to the increase if enrollment was controlled and did not lead to “clustering” of out-of-state students at UC Berkeley and UCLA. The incoming freshmen classes for the schools consisted of 24 and 30 percent nonresident students, while other UCs recorded under 10 percent.

President Yudof and the Regents argued for the social and economic benefits of out-of-state and international students, saying that their presence makes the UC system a global as much as a local university.

Online Education

The UC Regents and administrators emphasized the UC’s leadership in utilizing online education and pushed for expanding an online curriculum. Online education is among the long-term strategies to generate revenue.

Governor Brown proposed inviting leaders in online education to make a presentation at the next Regents meeting.