Editorial

University officials announced last week at the UC Regents meeting that they may raise tuition to ensure annual salary raises, which keep professors¹ income competitive and help attract and retain high-quality lecturers. The announcement came in response to the tightened budget Gov. Gray Davis submitted two weeks ago.

In the budget, Davis denied the regents¹ requested $125 million, granting only $44.8 million for merit increases of 1.5 percent for qualified professors and staff, and opting to allocate $64 million toward enrolling 7,100 full-time students over the next year.

The Guardian applauds Davis¹ move and believes that Davis clearly has California students¹ interests in mind.

Some of the most deserving faculty and staff will still receive raises ‹ they just won¹t be the across-the-board increases the regents requested. It is unlikely that the university will lose a significant number of current or potential employees in these hard times because of a half-percent cut to the raises. However, it is certain that the UC system will lose those 7,100 students forever if the money for enrollment growth is not allotted. These students will not wait a year or two to attend a UC school; they will enroll elsewhere. Davis has put the money where it will accomplish the most right now and in the future.

However, the Guardian vehemently opposes the regents¹ consideration of passing the financial buck to UC students to pacify UC professors.

Without the raises ‹ which some faculty and staff would receive, but at a lesser rate and for a limited period ‹ professors would experience no actual financial hardship. However, a tuition hike would hurt students, who draw meager incomes to begin with and are further affected by the slowing economy. For some students, a tuition increase would mean the difference between being able to attend a UC school and not being able to. We at the Guardian doubt that UC employees would face such a crisis.

Any tuition increases should go directly to improving the individual student¹s educational experience. This is especially important because the University of California is enrolling far more students than it ever has before ‹ making college life more difficult than it has been in previous years.

In summary, if the regents insist on annual increases across the board, they should consider other funding sources than their already-strapped students¹ wallets.

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