Napolitano announces plans for future enrollment growth within UC

Photo Illustration by Kevin Chung/Staff

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UC President Janet Napolitano announced Wednesday plans for future enrollment growth within the UC system, starting the next academic year.

Napolitano detailed a multiyear agreement with Gov. Jerry Brown during her speech at a Town Hall Los Angeles event, ensuring a stable framework for fiscal stability within the UC system as well as possible enrollment growth and funding for the “innovation of the university’s academic programs.”

But Kevin Sabo, president of the UC Student Association, expressed doubt regarding the university’s announcement, saying the system is “at capacity” and “cannot simply take in 5,000 students with no adjustment in infrastructure, housing availability and financial aid.”

State Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins supported the university’s plan, stating in a press release that “when the Assembly conducted (its) in-depth review of the University of California this year, it was clear that the university can and should do a better job fulfilling its mission to educate California students.”

Student Regent Avi Oved, part of the body that will vote on the proposal as part of next academic year’s budget, was skeptical of the state government’s endorsement of the plan.

“This proposal clearly disregards out-of-state students within the UC,” Oved said. “State legislators would seek to enroll California residents because those students are vital constituents.”

Though Napolitano accepted recent criticism of increased costs due to state budget cuts, she said this policy serves to provide opportunities for those who can “seize and fulfill” them.

“Each student comes in with different needs of help,” Sabo said. “(An) undergraduate admission enrollment increase … will not only disrupt the current proportion of graduate and professional students but also decrease quality of classroom management reflected in the neglect of GSIs.”

Napolitano said the proposal will be submitted to the UC Board of Regents’ budget during the 2016-17 academic year.

Contact Jason Kim at [email protected].