SAN FRANCISCO — To conclude a three-day meeting dominated by budget talks, the UC Board of Regents approved a proposed settlement Thursday with lawyers of students pepper-sprayed by UC Davis police officers during a protest on the campus last November.
The agreement will now be filed with a federal court in Sacramento where the 21 plaintiffs and the board will seek approval of the settlement, according to UC spokesperson Steve Montiel. The terms of the settlement will remain confidential until the settlement is filed.
“It is a really ugly chapter in the university history,” said UC Student Regent Jonathan Stein. “In my view, we did an injustice to our students that day at Davis. Some amount of recompense is appropriate. It’s time for us to publicly acknowledge that’s not how we treat our students.”
Much of Thursday’s meeting was held in closed and regents-only sessions, but opening comments and addresses to the board responded to discussions the board had Wednesday about how to mitigate the effects of budget cuts on the university’s academic standards.
At Wednesday’s meeting, UC President Mark Yudof said that the past financial decisions regarding the university have been too passive and have compromised the university’s academic quality.
“It is up to those of us at this table to reaffirm an active immutable commitment to academic quality at UC starting today,” Yudof said.
On Wednesday, regents and UC administrators discussed controversial policy changes to address the university’s budget shortfall should Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative, fail at the polls in November.
Members of the board cautioned UC administrators against asking the board to vote on tuition increases at its next meeting in November but instead advocated exploring alternative revenue raising options.
“From a student perspective, it is absolutely necessary to present alternative options whether or not Prop. 30 passes,” said Student Regent-designate Cinthia Flores at Wednesday’s meeting. “It’s not a sustainable model to think that increasing student fees is the only option we have. (Wednesday) was the beginning of alternative options.”
Brittany Jahn covers higher education. Contact her at [email protected].
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