At its Wednesday meeting, the UC Board of Regents discussed seven of the 13 academic elements in the 2015-16 budget framework developed by the university and Gov. Jerry Brown.
The budget framework has three main focuses: improving the university’s commitment to transfers, promoting innovations to support student progress and advancing the use of technology and data to enhance student success.
Throughout the year, the regents have made progress in increasing the number of transfers and creating major preparation pathways for transfer students, according to UC Office of the President Provost and Executive Vice President Aimée Dorr.
“The result is very good for UC and very good for community college students who want to transfer to a UC,” Dorr said.
One of the goals within this framework was to have a new-student ratio of two to one freshmen to transfer students by the 2017-18 academic school year. In 2015, UC Davis, UCLA and UCSD all met this goal, and UC Berkeley is expected to meet it by next year.
UC President Janet Napolitano has met with community college representatives throughout the state and emphasized partnering with them as the university continues to advance its transfer initiatives.
During the meeting, UC Regent Eloy Oakley raised the issue of improving relationships with state community colleges whose students have not historically transferred to UC campuses. Oakley said it is important to reach the communities that are underrepresented within the university.
ASUC Senator Chris Yamas said there is an issue of financial accessibility for students at community colleges who simply cannot afford tuition. Yamas added that he would like to see a UC systemwide task force dedicated to working specifically on issues within the transfer student community.
“We need greater outreach by the UC to community college students directly, through workshops and classroom visits on their campus, to show them how the UC can be a viable option for them,” Yamas said in an email.
Additionally, UCOP’s Institutional Research and Academic Planning Vice President Pamela Brown said progress has been made within the budget-framework focus of student success.
The university has been enforcing initiatives to ensure undergraduates stay on track for graduation, Brown said. She added that there has also been progress with summer programs that offer alternative pricing for students, such as an expanded summer enrollment loan program.
Despite the UC regents making progress in these specific areas of the budget plan, Dorr said there is still work to be done.
“It doesn’t mean that the university is necessarily done with the area,” Dorr said. “It means that the specific agreement has been met.”
At another session of the regents’ meeting, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom spoke in favor of Proposition 64 — a state law that would legalize the possession, cultivation and sale of marijuana. Newsom added that about $134 million will be available to the UC system through campuses’ marijuana research initiatives.
The UC regents will meet again Thursday and discuss California’s increasing population and its potential impact on the UC system.