Athletics to Lose $300K Under Reg. Fee Plan

    The Registration Fee Advisory Committee has recommended a $300,000 reduction of funds from the Intercollegiate Athletics program in response to the recent student-approved athletics fee referendum.

    The referendum, passed by students last quarter, will increase funding for athletics by more than $3 million ­- more than double the program’s permanent operating budget.

    However, ICA receives funding from other sources as well. The approximate $700,000 ICA receives from registration fees was unaffected by the referendum.

    In light of the windfall provided by the referendum, the RFAC committee has unanimously recommended to make a permanent reduction of $100,000 annually for three years. Chris Sholley, the committee’s vice chair, said in an e-mail that the group continues to get increasing requests for funding and would like to reallocate this money to other priorities.

    The RFAC asked for the A.S. Council’s reaction to this proposal and President Harry Khanna communicated the council’s positive reaction to Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Joseph W. Watson.

    “”The response I received was overwhelmingly in support of the Registration Fee Advisory Committee proposal because of both the substantive reasons articulated in the RFAC recommendation and the principle that we should honor the decisions of the student-majority registration fee committee,”” Khanna said in an e-mail.

    The RFAC hopes that the ICA will be able to compensate for this loss of funds through a variety of methods, including additional funding from a maturing alumni base, support from local biotech companies and independent fundraising by coaches. In addition, the Student Affairs Development Office recently hired a new ICA fundraising officer and UCSD is preparin23g another fundraising campaign that will include ICA funding as a prominent goal.

    As an incentive to help the athletics department become more self-sufficient, the RFAC will not make the third $100,000 cut if the ICA submits a feasible plan to increase independent funding by the end of the 2008-09 academic year.

    A.S. Associate Vice President of Athletic Relations Kari Gohd said that she agrees with the committee’s decision.

    “”Although personally I feel as if this may undermine the results of the election, I also think it is important to consider that the [RFAC] has very opinionated and well-informed members who unanimously agreed that the proposal would benefit the students at this university,”” Gohd said in an e-mail. “”I’m not happy that the committee made this decision this year, but after reading the report, I agree with their choice.””

    Watson agreed that the proposed cut will decrease the ICA’s dependence on registration fee funding.

    “”The referendum was proposed to students with the aim of making ICA solvent and capable of conducting an excellent, highly successful athletic program of 23 teams that would contribute substantially to campus life and school spirit,”” Watson said. “”Any reduction in funding to ICA from any source will diminish to some extent ICA’s capacity to achieve those goals and objectives.””

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