Yudof to recommend 9.6 percent fee hike at Regents meeting

Wook Lee/Staff

After being hit with $650 million in cuts from state funding, UC President Mark Yudof will propose the implementation of a 9.6 percent tuition increase at the UC Board of Regents meeting in less than two weeks as part of an effort to overcome what could amount to over $1 billion in funding challenges for the university.

Patrick Lenz, the vice president for budget and capital resources for the UC Office of the President, told The Daily Californian Friday that although Yudof will recommend the increase, the timing for its implementation has yet to be decided.

Previously, Yudof had said that the university could absorb the $500 million cut — which was signed into law in March — without raising tuition but that any additional cuts would likely mean fee hikes throughout the UC system. In November, the regents approved an 8 percent hike that is set in place for the upcoming academic year.

“We responded and presented to the regents in May that if in fact we were to receive any additional cuts that we would have to offset those cuts with a dollar-for-dollar fee increase,” Lenz said. “We felt like all the creative options to mitigate those other cuts without raising fees to cover them … we’ve pulled out all those financing mechanisms, and we’re employing them. So to believe that we have an ability to go beyond what we were already doing, I think, was fairly unrealistic.”

The Academic Council — the administrative arm of the systemwide Academic Senate — adopted a resolution June 30 advising Yudof to request that the regents increase mandatory systemwide charges effective in the fall of 2011 to offset the additional $150 million reduction in state funding.

“The Council is dismayed by the State’s continuing disinvestment in higher education,” a letter from the Academic Council reads. “Our advice to request an additional fee increase is based on Council’s recognition that the University cannot maintain its excellence with the State’s budgeted funding and must find additional revenue.”

In the 2008-09 school year, California resident undergraduate students at the UC paid roughly $7,000. If the 9.6 percent tuition increase is approved, those same students — who would now be entering their senior year — would pay more than $12,200 annually.

“Those who are in power now, when they were college-aged and went to the UC, it was practically free, but for some reason when it’s our turn, it will be more than ever,” said Student Regent Alfredo Mireles Jr., who said he will be voting against the tuition increase. “I hope when it’s our generation’s turn to be leaders, we show more compassion and make sure the next generation of students aren’t so negatively impacted.”

By approving the 8 percent tuition increase in November, the regents assumed $115 million in net revenue. However, that revenue does not come close to dealing with the $500 million reduction the UC was hit with in March, Lenz said.

That cut was also compounded by $362 million in mandatory costs — such as the university’s retirement contributions, energy costs and health costs — and resulted in a $862 million funding challenge for the university, according to Lenz.

With the additional $150 million cut passed in the state budget, Lenz said the UC’s funding problem totals to over $1 billion, though the 9.6 percent fee increase could bring in an additional $265 million in revenue should it be approved by the regents.

Additionally, Lenz said the UC could still face up to an additional $100 million in cuts should the state not realize $4 billion in tax revenues, which the recently passed budget plan relies on, though the UC does not yet have a specific plan of action should those midyear cuts become a reality.

“I think what’s happening is short of criminal, in the state’s failure to invest in what we feel is this economic engine and the kind of knowledge within our students that lead to a quality workforce that really could help the state rebound and gain fiscal stability,” he said.

Allie Bidwell is the news editor.

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  • Anonymous

    UC President Yudof passes an additional tax on  middle class families. Wage concession are now due from the University of California.

    University
    of California faces
    massive budget shortfalls. It is dismaying Calif. Governor Brown. President
    Yudof and Board of Regents have, once again, been unable to agree on a package
    of wage, benefit concessions to close the deficit. 

    Californians face foreclosure, unemployment, depressed
    wages, loss of retirement, medical, unemployment benefits, higher taxes: UC
    Board of Regents Regent Lansing, President Yudof need to demonstrated
    leadership by curbing wages, benefits. As a Californian, I don’t care what
    others earn at private, public universities. If wages better elsewhere,
    chancellors, vice chancellors, tenured, non tenured faculty, UCOP should apply
    for the positions. If wages commit employees to UC, leave for better paying position.
    The sky above UC will not fall.  

    Californians suffer from greatest deficit of modern times. UC
    wages must reflect California’s
    ability to pay, not what others are paid. Campus chancellors, tenured &
    non-tenured faculty, UCOP are replaceable by more talented academics

    Wage concessions for UC President, Faculty,
    Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, UCOP:

    No furloughs   

    18 percent reduction in UCOP salaries & $50
    million cut.

    18 percent prune of campus chancellors’, vice chancellors’ salaries.

    15 percent trim of tenured faculty salaries, increased teaching load

    10 percent decrease in non-tenured faculty salaries, as well as increase research,
    teaching load

    100%
    elimination of all Academic Senate, Academic Council costs, wages.

     

    (17,000
    UC paid employees earn more than $100,000)

     

    Overly
    optimistic predictions of future revenues do not solve the deficit.  However, rose bushes bloom after pruning.

     

    UC Board of Regents Sherry Lansing, President Yudof can bridge
    the public trust gap by offering reassurances that UC salaries reflect depressed
    wages in California.
    The sky will not fall on UC

     

    Californians are reasonable people. Levy no new taxes until
    an approved balanced budget: let the Governor/Legislature lead – make the
    tough-minded (not cold hearted) decisions of elected leadership. Afterwards
    come to public for continuing, specified
    taxes.

     

    Once again, we call upon UC President, Chancellors, Vice Chancellors,
    Faculty, UCOP to stand up for California
    and ‘pitch in’ for Californians with

  • Anonymous

    As long as you have more than enough qualified students, keep increasing fees.

    • Anonymous

      (The author has 35 years’ consulting experience, has taught
      at UC Berkeley (Cal)
      where he observed the culture & way senior management work)

       

      Cal. Chancellor Birgeneau ($500,000 salary)
      has forgotten that he is a public servant, steward of the public money, not
      overseer of his own fiefdom (these are not isolated examples): recruits (uses
      California tax $) out of state $50,000 tuition students that displace qualified
      Californians from public university education; spends $7,000,000 + for
      consultants to do his & many vice chancellors jobs (prominent East Coast university accomplishing same 0 cost); pays
      ex Michigan governor $300,000 for lectures; in procuring a $3,000,000 consulting firm he failed to receive
      proposals from other firms; Latino enrollment drops while out of state
      jumps 2010;  tuition to Return on
      Investment drops below top 10; Birgeneau all employees meeting – only 50
      attend; visits to Cal down 20%; NCAA places basketball program on probation,
      absence institutional control.

       

      It’s all shameful. There is no justification for such
      practices by a steward of the public trust. Absolutely none.  

       

      Birgeneau’s practices will continue indefinitely. Governor
      Brown, UC Board of Regents Chair Lansing, President Yudof must do a better job
      of vigorously enforcing stringent oversight than has been done in the past over
      Chancellors like Birgeneau who use the campus as their fiefdom.

       

       

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MYE33I4TTQKWXST7YHLXWAM57Y Captain Morgan

    If you’re an undergrad at Cal, you should seriously consider transferring to a private university.