The original version of this article contained an error and information that was unclear, and has been changed. See the bottom of the article for additional information.
SAN FRANCISCO “”mdash; The UC Board of Regents committee on finance approved its budget for the 2013-2014 year today, which assumes hundreds of millions in additional state funds ““ funds that University officials said are not guaranteed and may need to be covered by alternative sources such as tuition increases.
The budget is the beginning of a long-term plan to stabilize funding and improve the quality of education after years of state funding cuts, said Patrick Lenz, vice president of budget and capital resources.
The budget includes funds to help reduce the faculty-to-student ratio and hire new faculty, he added.
“We not only see an opportunity for reinvestment, but something we strive for more than anything “¦ to reinvest in the quality of the University,” Lenz said.
The plan includes a nearly 10-percent increase in total funding for the UC’s core budget of $6.2 billion for the 2012-13 year, according to a budget report from the UC Office of the President.
The budget includes an additional $125.4 million promised by the state, contingent upon the passage of Proposition 30 last week. But the regents also expect the state to contribute more funds, including $276.5 million to help the UC adjust to funding cuts in past years.
The budget will also increase the University’s expenditures by 9.4 percent, which will be used to improve the quality of education and sustain increases in retirement contributions and compensation, among other items, according to the budget documents.
During today’s meeting, regents said they expect to accommodate increase in spending by increasing undergraduate nonresident enrollment and requesting additional state funds.
The budget reflects the UC’s hopes to reach a multi-year funding agreement with the state that is centered on Proposition 30, which will raise the sales tax by a quarter of a cent and collect more income taxes from households earning $250,000 or more, freeing up funds for state programs such as higher education. Because of Proposition 30′s passage, there will be no mid-year tuition increases for the current academic year, said UC Regents Chair Sherry Lansing.
The regents, however, reiterated on Wednesday that the passage of Proposition 30 ““ which prevented millions of dollars in immediate cuts to the University ““ does not solve all the UC’s financial problems.
“We are all grateful for Proposition 30, but we know it’s not a magic bullet,” Lansing said. “Our work isn’t really done.”
In the event that the state does not give the University the additional funds the regents expect in the 2013-14 budget, which will be finalized in July, the regents are looking at a 6-percent tuition increase as a possible way to cover the gap in funding,
Otherwise, the quality of University education may have to be compromised again by increasing the faculty-to-student ratio and leaving faculty positions unfilled, among other measures, said Peter King, a UC spokesman.
Lieutenant Gov. and Ex Officio Regent Gavin Newsom was the only member of the finance committee to vote no on the University’s budget today. Newsom said he thinks it is highly unlikely the state will approve the $276.5 million requested in the new budget, adding that he expects a fee increase of at least six percent to occur.
“I’ve never seen an increase (in state funding) like that,” Newsom said in a press conference during a break at the board meeting on Wednesday. “There may not be that many realistic (funding) alternatives.”
The entire board still needs to approve the University budget when the board reconvenes on Thursday, King said. The budget is not set in stone and only provides a preliminary framework for future discussion, he added.
Correction: The budget includes an additional $125.4 million promised by the state, contingent upon the passage of Proposition 30 last week. Also, in the event that the state does not give the University the additional funds the regents expect in the 2013-14 budget, the regents are looking at a 6-percent tuition increase as a possible way to cover the gap in funding, said Patrick Lenz, vice president of budget and capital resources.