UC Regents to discuss budget, tuition-increase policy in board meeting

RegentsMeeting_Sept17_MDrummond
Michael Drummond/File

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At a three-day meeting next week, the UC Board of Regents will vote on a plan to increase tuition, amend the financial aid policy for undocumented students and address other issues.

The university aims to revise some of its responses to “unprecedented fiscal challenges” it has faced in recent years, particularly cutbacks the university says are unsustainable in the long run. The budget proposal outlines a series of tuition hikes beginning the next academic year.

In the proposal, the university plans 5 percent increases each year in systemwide student tuition and fees over five years, if state funding remains at 4 percent.

The proposal diverts from Gov. Jerry Brown’s current plan to increase funding to the university by 4 percent annually for the next two years, provided that tuition stays flat for four years beginning in 2013.

The tuition increase would bring 2015-16 in-state fees up $612, from $12,192 to $12,804. The plan would also increase enrollment by at least 5,000 more in-state students and 2,000 more nonresident students over the next five years.

Tuition and enrollment increases would bring the university $127.7 million in new revenue, which would be allocated to the operating budget.

More than half of UC in-state undergraduate students would have the increase covered by grants and scholarships.

Regents will also review a report on UC private support, which shows the university received a record of roughly $1.79 billion from private donors from July 2013 to June 30, 2014.

The committee on educational policy will vote to formally amend a policy to exempt undocumented students who meet certain criteria from paying nonresident tuition, making the policy consistent with new legislation.

The university has also faced increased pressure to comply with regulations and “maintain an ethical culture” as a result of new legislation and government scrutiny.

The board will review an annual report on ethics and compliance, which aims to identify and address legal risks such as laboratory safety, governmental reporting regulatory activities and privacy information.

The report addresses international risks that come with UC Berkeley’s increased global engagement. A committee will outline the legal issues of operating internationally and develop campus resources to provide guidance on them.

One of the report’s goals is to oversee the development of policies regarding sexual assault, including education and investigation practices and processes.

The report states that the Office of Ethics, Compliance and Audit Services facilitated the establishment of university policies in response to new legislation such as the 2013 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which sought to improve how institutions address sexual violence.

The regents meeting will take place Tuesday through Thursday at the UCSF Mission Bay Campus.

Contact Suhauna Hussain at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @suhaunah.