Tuition Increases by 10 Percent, May Rise Again Next Year

According to Executive Vice President of Business Operations Nathan Brostrom and Vice President of Budget and Capital Resources Patrick Lenz, there are three proposed methods for raising revenue. The Regents favors a 50-50 split in which students would pay an eight percent fee increase, with the state funding the remaining eight percent. A second option has students paying 12 percent of the increase while the state pays four percent. The final scenario would require tuition to increase by 16 percent each year until 2016.

 “This scenario that we’re looking at is not what we want,” Sherry Lansing, UC Board of Regents Chairman, said in Bloomberg Businessweek. “There’s not a person around this table that wants to increase tuition. We’ve done enough.”

Under the last scenario, undergraduate tuition for California residents would rise to $22,068 from the current $12,192 by the 2015-16 academic year, if state funding for the UC system does not increase, according to the UC Board of Regents.

UC Office of the President Spokesperson Ricardo Vasquez said that the Regents has not made any concrete decisions.

“It’s not even a proposal yet,” Vasquez said. “It’s just a discussion. The idea was to create a four-year budget that would include ideas with what to do in respect to fees.”

According to the UCOP, such a fee increase would lead to increased faculty and enrollment, as well as continued investment into expanding academic programs and facilities.

However, Lansing said that this scenario was less than ideal.
The percentage of the fee increase is dependent on the amount of funding the UC system receives from the state.

According to Lenz and Brostom, the decline in state funding began in the 1990-91 academic year, when the UC system lost 20 percent of its financial support from the state.

Currently, state support for the UC system is 10 percent higher, not adjusted for inflation, than the 1990-91 year, though the number of California high school graduates has increased from 68.6 percent in 1990 to 74.4 percent in 2011, spurring enrollment growth.

In 2005, UC and CSU officials entered a six-year agreement with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to have the state provide the minimum resources the system would need to reaffirm the UC’s high standards for education while increasing enrollment with their main intentions dependent on institutional accountability and state funding.

The agreement was meant to expire during the 2010-11 fiscal year but lasted only two years because of the state’s budget crisis.
At the meeting, the Regents also suggested alternate methods of raising money, which include an emphasis on corporate and alumni donations, as well as seeking new tax revenues.

Other alternatives include planning classes with a higher student-faculty ratio and cutting faculty salaries.

These alternatives are considered as efforts that “would destroy UC’s historic commitment to quality,” the Office of the President said in a statement.
The Regents was scheduled to vote on a new budget plan in November 2011, but Lansing said she was doubtful the board would be able to decide on a plan by then.
Vazquez said the earliest the Regents would vote on any fee increase would be in January 2012.

Readers can contact Rebecca Horwitz at [email protected].