UC regents to vote on addition of student adviser to board, supplemental tuition increases

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The UC Board of Regents will convene Wednesday and Thursday to vote on the addition of a student adviser position to the board and a professional degree supplemental tuition increase.

Student Regent Avi Oved’s proposal for the creation of the student adviser position — if approved — will run as a two-year pilot program. The adviser would not have voting privileges but would serve as an advisory member on three regents committees, prioritizing committees on which the student regent or student regent-designate does not serve. The board will also discuss Gov. Jerry Brown’s California budget proposal for 2016-17.

Oved hopes the creation of the position will bolster student representation on the board. The powers and duties of the student adviser are intended to supplement those of the student regent and student regent-designate, according to the proposal.

Although the adviser would only have access to open-session regents meetings, he or she would have the power to take the floor during sessions. The student adviser would be appointed for a one-year term beginning July 1 of each year.

Also on the agenda is an action item for an increase of eight percent in professional degree supplemental tuition effective 2016-17 for the nursing programs at four UC campuses and the initiation of supplemental tuition for two other graduate professional degree programs at UC Irvine and UC San Diego. The in-state charges for the four nursing programs are expected to exceed average charges for instate tuition at comparable programs, according to the agenda.

“Our graduate professional students are just being pummeled, with these costs going up,” said UC Student Association Board chair Kevin Sabo.

The regents will also discuss Gov. Brown’s budget proposal Wednesday. Announced earlier this month, Brown’s proposal will help fund items outlined in the university’s financial sustainability plan, including the addition of 10,000 more California students over the course of three years.

While Sabo said he appreciates the positive impact that the increase in funding will have on university enrollment, he said the influx of students will aggravate the current food and housing crisis.

“That’s a huge part of the budget conversation,” Sabo said. “It’s a noble cause, but unless it’s fully funded, we’re not going to be nearly as elated as we would otherwise be.”

Sabo said that he has been assured by UC President Janet Napolitano that the university fully understands the food and housing situation that students are currently facing and that there is a proposal in the works to find new student housing.

The regents will also discuss the increase in the volume of applications to the university and updates on the development of the university’s captive insurance company, Fiat Lux, among other items.

Harini Shyamsundar is the lead higher education reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @hshyamsundar.