Tuition Set to Rise, Following UC Board of Regents Vote

The UC Board of Regents met from Nov. 18 to 20 and discussed and approved a set of motions and appointments, including the 5-percent annual tuition increase over the next five years.

TUITION ON THE UP AND UP: At its meeting last week, the University of California Board of Regents voted to approve a tuition plan that could raise fees by up to 5 percent for each of the next five years — assuming the state declines to increase funding to the UC System. Above, students protest the hikes last week.  Photo by Cory Wong/Guardian
TUITION ON THE UP AND UP: At its meeting last week, the University of California Board of Regents voted to approve a tuition plan that could raise fees by up to 5 percent for each of the next five years — assuming the state declines to increase funding to the UC System. Above, students protest the hikes last week. Photo by Cory Wong/Guardian

Aside from the tuition increase, the regents allowed, at UC President Napolitano’s request, Dr. Regis B. Kelly to hold a senior management advisor position to Napolitano for innovation and entrepreneurship. Kelly, the current director of the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences at UC San Francisco, will receive an annual base salary of $403,000, which will not come from state funds.

According to the UC Regents Committee on Compensation, Kelly will help the University of California capitalize on its research.

“The development of these alternative revenue sources has become increasingly important given the current financial realities facing the University,” the Committee’s report stated. “To accomplish these goals, he will bridge academia and commercial industries with entrepreneurial ventures.”

Another appointment made by the UC Regents, also requested by Napolitano, was that of Patrice Knight as AVP Chief Procurement Officer, UC Health, Office of the President. Neither tuition nor state funds will fund Knight’s $410,000 base salary, nor the estimated $61,500 to $102,500 relocation compensation.

Prior to her appointment to the position, Knight worked at IBM for more than 30 years, where she held vice president-level positions in Procurement, Global Supply, Supply Chain and Strategic Sourcing.

The statement regarding the appointment discussed how Knight’s position would enable the UC Health System to reduce operating costs.

“This appointment is a key position for UC Health’s efforts to better control costs and manage the overall enterprise more efficiently. The purchasing activity of UC medical centers amounts to $2.4 billion annually,” the report concluded. “Patrice Knight’s charge will be to develop programs and processes to achieve a target of $150 million in savings over three years.”

Five-percent tuition increases were also approved for six graduate-professional degree programs, including journalism, leadership education and teacher education at UC Berkeley; public policy at UC Riverside; and technology management at UC Santa Barbara. Additionally, a 20-percent tuition increase for 2015–2016 was approved for the nursing graduate-professional degree programs.

Other budgetary approvals included the allocation of funds for the preliminary plans to build more graduate and professional housing at UCSD’s East Campus. UC San Diego Housing Auxiliary Reserves will fund the necessary $4,871,000. Capital improvements will also include improvements to UC Health System’s Outpatient Pavilion, estimated to cost $140 million which will be taken from external finances, gift funds, hospital reserves and operating leases.

In addition, the budget approved the UCSD Health System’s acquisition of a regional imaging company and its expansion of its existing joint venture to include liver transplants. The specifics of the acquisition have not yet been released to the public.

In response to the systemwide tuition hikes approved at the meeting, UCSD students held two protests last week. The first was a sit-in protest on Tuesday, Nov. 18, the day before the Regents’ Committee on Long Range Planning approved the tuition increase, and the following protest was a call-in and email-in protest on Friday, Nov. 21 after the full board of regents approved the hike on Nov. 20.

UC Student Association University Affairs Chair and A.S. Vice President of External Affairs Allyson Osorio said students could possibly stop the hike.

“Any student knows the UC system needs more funding and we can possibly stop this hike,” Osorio said. “Students will have to step in and advocate for the future. We’re [going to] have to fight for the UC system, and we need to get everyone on board because this is a California issue.”

A.S. Vice President of Finance Igor Geyn stated the tuition increase will not affect the A.S. budget.

“Tuition and student fees have been kept separate historically for multiple reasons, and I think this will continue into the future as well. Because the A.S. activity fee primarily funds non-academic aspects of the student experience, the A.S. budget will continue to reflect the needs and priorities of the students,” Geyn said. “One thing I could see happening initially is students taking a closer look at where their money is going, including tuition, college fees, A.S. fees, etc., which I think will be great for accountability across the board.”