UC Board of Regents discusses budgets, academic programs, tuition plan

Selena Liu/Staff

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Members of the UC Board of Regents gathered at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center on Thursday to talk about the state and UC Office of the President, or UCOP, budgets for 2019-20, the board’s goals to improve and create more academic programs in the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources and a proposition for a new cohort-based tuition plan.

The meeting began with a public comment session, remarks from various student associations and an annual report from the Council of UC Staff Assemblies, or CUCSA, which serves as an advisory body composed of two delegates each from the 10 UC campus, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UCOP and the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

In the organization’s presentation, CUCSA chair Amanda Chavez, vice chair Jackie Holmes and secretary George Hopwood talked about their strategic plan to improve communication between leadership, CUCSA and staff.

“This year, CUCSA finalized work it started with previous delegations in creating a strategic plan,” Holmes said. “The purpose of CUCSA is to maintain and enhance communication with the University of California community on matters of interest, to know how to represent the staff.”

UC President Janet Napolitano also spoke about notable honors received and achievements made by UC campuses and faculty, which included UCSF’s children’s hospital being ranked fifth nationwide, five early-career faculty members and two postdoctoral researchers being named Pew Biomedical Scholars, and UC Merced ranking fourth in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings for 2019.

The board then went on to discuss updates on the final 2019-20 state budget, the 2019-20 fiscal budget for UCOP, the 2019 UC Accountability Report, goals and programs in the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources and a new proposal to switch to cohort-based tuition for UC students, which would require that decisions on tuition increases will not affect current UC students, but only students entering the UC system.

According to the 2019-20 state budget, ongoing support funds for UC are set at $247.5 million, an increase of 7 percent from last year. The university also received $215.1 million in one-time funding.

Three presenters — Nathan Brostrom, the UC’s executive vice president and chief financial officer; Paul Jenny, senior vice chancellor for finance and administration at UCSF; and David Alcocer, associate vice president of UCOP’s Budget Analysis and Planning department — proposed a new tuition plan for the university.

According to Regent Sherry Lansing, this new cohort-based tuition plan comes at a time in which UC campuses do not have enough funds to support various functions on campus.

“There is a tremendous shortfall in UC campuses, and chancellors are worried that there are programs that are going to be cut,” Lansing said. “When we do not raise tuition, we negatively impact the quality of the university.”

Contact Selena Liu at [email protected].