UC Regents to discuss revised budget in Sacramento

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The UC Board of Regents will meet in Sacramento next week to discuss Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised 2013-14 budget, among other matters.

The regents will also review a special report by UC President Mark Yudof on the current and future challenges facing the university, a report on the university’s academic performance and a proposed design for a new aquatics center at the UC Berkeley campus.

On Wednesday morning, the board will hear an update on Brown’s revised budget, which reflects new revenue estimates and the effects of new proposals by the state Legislature on the budget.

Later that day, the Committee on Educational Policy will hear a report on “academic performance indicators” at the University of California. The report summarizes two decades of statistics collected from the 10 UC campuses and finds that despite declining state support, the university has continued to excel by a number of performance indicators, including graduation rates and number of students enrolled.

Over the last two decades, four-year graduation rates have increased substantially. The entering class of 2007 had a graduation rate of 60 percent, up from 37 percent for the entering class of 1992, according to the report.

The report also recommends that state legislators give the university and individual campuses greater flexibility, authority and resources. The positive outcomes seen over the last two decades show that the university can function better independent of the state, the report says.

The committee will also discuss a proposal to increase investment in the university’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources for new research that includes work on invasive pests and diseases, childhood obesity and sustainable food projects.

The Committee on Grounds and Buildings will vote on a proposed design for a new aquatics center on the UC Berkeley campus. The $15 million project, which was announced last month, will be funded entirely by Cal Aquatic Legends, an independent nonprofit donor group founded to raise money for the project. The center would only be used for athletic training.

The project requires an amendment to the UC Berkeley 2020 Long Range Development Plan, which the Committee on Grounds and Buildings will be asked to certify and approve.

The Committee on Finance will vote on the 2013-14 financing of Cap-Equip, a universitywide program that aims to restructure capital financing and save money on research, telecommunications and software equipment. The committee will also vote on maintaining the expenditure rate for the university’s endowment pool.

The Committee on Oversight of the Department of Energy Laboratories will hear updates from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on climate research, a new X-ray laser that determines protein structures and a recent grant from the Department of Energy for the Joint BioEnergy Institute in Emeryville. In April, the department promised about $25 million annually through 2018 for the development of new biofuels.

On Thursday, after a public comment period, the regents will hold closed meetings with the Committee on Compensation and the Committee on Finance as well as other regents-only meetings.

Alex Berryhill covers higher education. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @berryhill93.