Students enrolled in professional schools within the University of California will not see fee increases for the time being, University officials said Tuesday.
The UC Board of Regents was slated to vote on the proposed fee increases for 61 professional programs across the UC, including the UCLA School of Nursing and UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, during its bimonthly meeting being held this week.
The proposal, part of the regents’ agenda before Californians voted on Proposition 30, was part of an effort to prevent the “erosion” of the quality of the UC’s programs at a time of financial crises in the University, according to the agenda for the regents meeting .
It included a 10-percent rise in law school fees at UC Davis and a 35 percent fee hike for nursing schools at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA and UC San Francisco, according to the action item.
As an ex-officio member of the Board of Regents, Gov. Jerry Brown formally requested the regents to postpone the vote so he could gain a better understanding of the “policies and methodology” associated with tuition increases for professional programs, said Steve Montiel, a UC spokesman.
During a press conference at the regents meeting on Wednesday, Brown said it is difficult to achieve adequate funding within the UC and simultaneously balance the state’s budget.
“I want the University to see itself in the larger context of the California economy,” Brown said.
The UC has been cut $875 million over the past four years as California has tried to reduce its $15 billion deficit, according to Daily Bruin archives.
Brown also attended the California State University’s Board of Trustees meeting for the first time during his term this week, where a vote for a proposal to increase fees on “super seniors” ““ students who take more more credits than are necessary to graduate ““ was set to take place.
The proposed fee ““ which would apply to students taking more credits than are needed to graduate ““ was designed so students who need a certain class to graduate are not “blocked” by an upperclassman taking a nonessential class, said Erik Fallis, a CSU spokesman. “This is a fee that we were hoping, with the right guidelines, we would never have to collect,” Fallis said.
The CSU Board of Trustees tabled the vote on Tuesday, citing negative student feedback, he said. Brown’s presence at the CSU trustees meeting had little impact on the decision to delay the vote, he added.
Brown thanked the CSU trustees for delaying the vote, the Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday .
“We got a vote of confidence, and now let’s measure up to the expectations of the voters,” he said to the board, according to the Sacramento Bee. “That means getting out of our comfort zone, whether we are trustees or faculty or administrators or students, or anyone else.”
Daniel Mitchell, a professor emeritus of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the UCLA Anderson School of Management, said Brown’s support for the delays in fee increases ““ both at the UC and CSU ““ are a way for him to live up to the promises he made while campaigning for Proposition 30.
The measure, which passed last week, will raise income taxes on households that make $250,000 or more annually and raise the sales tax by a quarter of a cent. If it had failed, the UC and CSU systems would each have received immediate trigger cuts of $250 million.
“(Brown) promised voters that tuition would not go up after Prop. 30 passed and so he doesn’t want tuition to go up ““ it’s as simple as that,” Mitchell said.
Mark Yudof, the UC president and ex-officio regent, said at Brown’s press conference on Wednesday the UC vote being brought up again is very unsure at this point.
“(The vote) could be January, could be March, could be the 12th of never,” Yudof said.
Fallis noted that the CSU’s vote will need to occur eventually, and that the delay is not a solution to the CSU’s financial issues.
“Even though we’ve indefinitely delayed voting on this … the (funding) problem isn’t going away,” he said.
Contributing reports by Kristen Taketa, Bruin reporter.