UC Regents discuss grim fiscal future

Tuition increases possible in short-term, while long-term picture worsens

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed the regents, urging them to "critically analyze the mission and the broader challenges of the system."
Javier Panzar/Senior Staff
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed the regents, urging them to "critically analyze the mission and the broader challenges of the system."

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SACRAMENTO — The UC Board of Regents met under ominous circumstances Wednesday as the immediate and long-term future for the university was put in disarray by volatile fiscal developments in the state’s capital.

With Monday’s announcement that the state’s budget deficit had ballooned from $9 billion to nearly $16 billion, the regents emphasized the need for increased advocacy to prevent further fee increases and steep cuts in financial aid that could result from Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan.

But with the state’s financial situation changing rapidly, few at the meeting were optimistic.

For the moment, members of the board and student leaders are embarking on an extensive lobbying effort in the state Capitol, hoping to convince lawmakers to increase the university’s funding by $125 million to “buy out” a proposed 6 percent fee increase scheduled to be voted on at the board’s July meeting.

“We think, in the best case scenario, it is the governor’s proposal plus a tuition buyout, but the worst case scenario — I am not sure any of us are willing to speculate what that might mean,” said UC Senior Vice President for External Relations Daniel Dooley. “What is clear is it is going to take a lot of diligence and continuing advocacy to maintain our position.”

While the lobbying efforts took center stage for most of the meeting, the specter of continuing state divestment loomed over the second half of the meeting. The UC is seeking a multi-year financial agreement with the state to provide new funds to cover a $300 million annual budget shortfall over the next five years.

But the agreement is on uncertain ground.

If Brown’s tax initiative on the November ballot — which would generate $9 billion a year for the state — does not pass, the university is going to be cut $250 million, an increase from Brown’s previous estimations.

If that kind of cut were to be dealt to the university, board chair Sherry Lansing said the system’s financial situation would go from being “horrific” to “overwhelming.”

As the conversation took an increasingly dire tone, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom urged the board to critically reassess the size and shape of the university — a suggestion many regents took to heart.

“If we don’t have a substantive, detailed conversation … about alternatives to deal with the magnitude of the shortfalls, then our default will always be tuition hikes,” Newsom said. “We are not talking 6 percent, we are not talking 10 percent, 12. We are talking 15, 20-plus percent on a consistent basis, unless we have a very grand conversation about where we are going and the mission and the broader challenges of the system.”

Lansing then scheduled a meeting of the regents in July to consider long-term changes to the university’s structure to meet worst case scenarios. Many said the university needed to be open to making drastic changes.

“We need to put our thinking caps on and figure out what we are going to do if the worst happens,” said Regent Norman Pattiz.

While the rest of the board was discussing long-term issues, incoming Student Regent Jonathan Stein tried to steer the conversation back to the more immediate issue of Brown’s tax initiative. Though individual members have endorsed the initiative, the board has not, a move Stein said was “poisoning” its relationship with state lawmakers.

“Let’s assume these tax initiatives don’t pass —  we will be first on the chopping block,” he said, urging the board to publicly endorse Brown’s tax initiative. “And let’s assume that they do pass — it is going to be really difficult for us to go to legislators at that point with our hands out and ask them for money or favors.”

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  • Calipenguin

    Student Regent Jon Stein says  ”And let’s assume that they do pass — it is going to be really difficult
    for us to go to legislators at that point with our hands out and ask them for money or favors.”

    There you have it folks.  Brown and the Democrats are playing Cal students for fools.  They’ve got students begging friends and relatives to vote for the proposed taxes, but deep down inside they know elite university students are the last group to get any of that money.  Far more powerful lobbies such as K-12 teachers, public employee unions, and the Bullet Train to Nowhere construction companies had their hands out first.

  • Current student

    and yet we STILL have plenty of money for scholarships for illegal aliens.

    go figure.

    • Guest

       The DREAM act cost $14 million. Plus, the point of college is to educate people so that they can enter the workforce, so what difference does it make where they’re from or whether or not they’re “legal”? They’ll still work here all the same.

      • Calipenguin

         Wasting Cal Grants on someone who by definition cannot legally work after graduation is a guaranteed negative for California’s economy.  Illegal aliens cannot “enter the workforce” unless they commit identity theft to get a Social Security number. 

        • Current student

           Exactly, cali.

          And also consider that even if they did have a SSN, that degree in chicano studies is not going to mean **** when they’re looking for employment.

        • libsrclowns

          Libs never think of second order consequences. Thoughtless.

      • guest2

        That $14 million figure was how Cedillo sold the CA Dream Act to Brown & the Legislature. At the time Brown signed AB131 the estimated amount rose to $65 million. http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/state&id=8453232 
        Additionally, this estimated $65 million cost will rise exponentially in the coming years as this additional freebie to illegal aliens will attract more illegal aliens and it’s already beginning…http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/28/child-immigrants-surge-st_n_1461107.html?ref=latino-voices 

      • Wtflahole

        They can go to technical school to get training to enter the workforce, a university education is not what it is portrayed to be.  There is dire unemployment in this country at this time with a populus that cant do anything for themselves, like grow a vegetable.  No, we have corporate giants feed and clothes and decide what we see and hear.  What a joke.  We need more Chinese style decipline in this country, a no nonsense approach.  How many other countries supply so many with electronic benefits, what other animal in the history of life on earth has been handed food.  At least require some sort of community service in exchange for the benefits,
        has the world gone mad.

    • Wtflahole

      We need leaders with BALLS that can stand up and put an end to the “politically correct” entitlements that are going to be the downfall of this country.  FACE IT people, we may have free speech in this country but we only have spineless ” leaders”.  We shouldn’t give a god damn dime to illegals toward an education.  Why the fuck do you think we are in the situation we are in now, a fiscal crisis, because all of the overpaid politicians are useless cowards.

      • Nguyenvanson56

         With Brain like these , no wonder beloved UC system will go down the drain !

        • Wtflahole


    • Wtflahole

      Think of the hundreds of thousands of students who have graduated from CAL yet, who is our govenor,  the son of a former govenor.  Not a fresh face with new ideas, a well trained scientific mind to get creative with renewable jobs, no, we have nepotism at its finest, the son of Edmond Brown.  What has anyone who clamored to get into CAL done to change the world?????  It is astonishing that this State and Country are in the position that we are in.  The one thing Meg Whitman said that was true is that California has many of the top universities in the world.  Yet no one has stepped forward to do anything.  Nepotism is a serious social disease!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • the devil

        Brown is a career politician who walks the walk- not just lip service, but action. You don’t like that it’s in his family. Just look at the other extreme- the Bush family. Now, there’s some real nepotism, and not at it’s finest. Jerry Brown has always left positive accomplishments in the jobs he’s taken. He has shown courage, honesty and initiative, especially while he was mayor of Oakland. The only thing good there is what he fixed up, but things don’t always stay fixed. Just look at what happened to the nation under the Bush years. The first thing was the economy completely tanked from being in surplus to failure  and he started with tax give-aways. I suppose you want to let Romney do the same thing, the way his  family ran American Motors. Oh, you don’t remember American Motors? That’s just what I mean.

        • Wtflahole

          It says something deeply disturbing about the intelligence and common sense of this country that Bush was elected, yes compared to Bush, Jerry Brown has a moral compass .  We need to impart decipline into this country and stop the food stamp program without requiring a minimal of service to the community in exchange. 

        • libsrclowns

          Little clueless Libs doing some Bush bashing to make them feel better. Let’s look at the Kenyan’s record:

          The performance of Barack O Fraud……..

          1) Real median household income is down $4300 since Obama took office.

          2) The percentage of unemployed workers who’ve been out of a job for more than a year is over 30%.

          3) The country has had the longest streak of +8% unemployment since the Depression under Obama: 39 months and counting.

          4) In 2011 under Barack Obama, nearly one out of every seven Americans was on food stamps. That’s a 70 percent increase from 2007.

          5) Fifty percent of new college graduates are underemployed or unemployed.

          6) U.S. home ownership is at a decade long low. So is the number of Americans who say their home is worth more than they paid for it. Home prices are the lowest they’ve been since 2002.

          Obama, an empty suit FAIL.  Bad for the economy, race relations and America.

          Now back to reality and Moonbeam’s incompetence to implement policies to grow the Cali economy.
          Only fix, increase sales tax (regressive) hurting the poor and middle class. LOL at Libs.

  • DDay Taibbi YSmith BBlack

    If the DailyCal wanted to do some real reporting, maybe we could get some in depth stories about the UC’s endowment.
    How is that money managed?
    Who makes those decisions?
    What have those decisions been over the last 5 years and what were the consequences?

    Just the other day one of Goldman Sachs attorneys screwed the pooch by entering into the public record a frank admission of naked short-selling (meaning here an accidental filing in a lawsuit).
    Are we to think that self-styled gurus of finance like Regents Wachter, Blum and Gould aren’t participating in the same sordid schemes? Maybe they aren’t orchestrating such actions — maybe they are getting fucked by the likes of GS…

    DailyCal: Congrats getting the VOICE initiative passed.
    Now go out there and prove you deserve it!

  • Adminis-Fail

    “Senior Vice President for External Relations”
    aka management has gotten too big for its britches

  • Bronwen Rowlands

    “We need to put our thinking caps on…”  
    What, no decoder rings?

    • Calipenguin

      It’s ironic, given that UC is filled with Nobel-level thinkers.

      • Wtflahole


    • libsrclowns

      Moonbeam leadership: built a bullet train from nowhere to nowhere.