The bottom line is this,” President Mark Yudof said. “UC — for the first time in my four years here — has a clear shot at attaining fiscal stability.”
The UC regents met on Nov. 14, opening the meeting with warm remarks on the passage of Proposition 30. The proposition prevented a total budget cut of $325 million in state funding to the UC — which could have triggered a possible 20 percent mid-year tuition hike.
During discussion over the 2013–14 budget, Lt. Gov. and ex officio regent Gavin Newsom pointed out that the new budget expects millions more in state funding than Prop 30 provides. If additional state funding fails to materialize, students could see five to 6 percent tuition increases starting next year.
Gov. Jerry Brown arrived shortly into the meeting. Recent reports of a substantially smaller state deficit did little to soften his hard-hitting agenda for the regents.
“The Lt. Gov. has let the cat out of the bag here,” Brown said. “When you look at this budget, the state would have to increase its funding by 12 percent to the university every year, and that’s just not likely to happen.”
Newsom, however, ended up being the only member of the Committee on Finance to vote against the 2013–14 budget.
The Issue of Out-of-State Enrollment
The hotly contested issue of out-of-state student enrollment also entered discussion. The topic opened with the fact that UC is expected to hit its 10 percent ceiling on non-resident enrollment by 2015.
“That’s a very tempting pot of money,” Brown said, referencing the potential revenue out-of-state tuition offers, igniting a chuckle from the board.
The UC’s current admissions policy prevents out-of-state enrollments from displacing qualified in-state applicants—of whom UC also seeks to increase by 1 percent, Provost Aimee Dorr said. Student Regent Jonathan Stein emphasized the disparity of non-resident enrollment percentages between the campuses, and said a system-wide increase would deepen the inequality. The cap on non-resident enrollment was not raised.
Protesters from across the state gathered in front of UCSF’s meeting hall on Wednesday, some camping out that night while others, including several UC Santa Cruz undergraduate and graduate students, bused in for an early start Thursday morning.
Due to a large queue of speakers lined up on Thurs., Nov. 15, public comment was extended by 30 minutes. Many speakers went over time, including students, union members, UC employees, a San Francisco Community College student, a parent, and a UC Davis nurse. Several insisted that the regents roll tuition back to 2009 levels. Their cries went
After a scattering of vocal interruptions during the meeting, approximately 10 protesters stood up and proceeded to do a “mic check” in the fashion of the Occupy protest movement, and called out Executive Vice President Peter Taylor for dismissing a financial advisory report submitted by UC Berkeley graduate students.
After failed attempts to call the protesters into order, Chair Sherry Lansing dismissed the meeting to recess and police gave the protesters a five-minute warning to clear the auditorium or risk arrest. Student regent Stein and Regent-designate Cinthia Flores stayed behind to watch as the protesters walked out with linked arms.
UCSC students lead approximately 80 protesters down the street to block an intersection chanting “Hey hey! Ho ho! UC Regents have to go!”. The 20-foot-long Banana Slug tarp puppet struck a vivid jolt in the crowd as passing cars honked in support.
The next open session regents meeting is set for Jan. 15-17 at the UC San Francisco Mission Bay campus, where the regents plan to broach the postponed discussion over increasing fees in over 60 graduate programs.