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UC Commission on the Future receives first round of ideas

Presenting the first round of recommendations to the University of California Commission on the Future today (Tuesday, March 23), five working groups offered strategies aimed at ensuring access, affordability and excellence in instruction, research and public service amid ongoing financial challenges.

Ideas range from three-year degrees and multiyear tuition schedules to cost-cutting administrative efficiencies and federal funding of higher education tied to low-income and first-generation college students.

Some recommendations reaffirm already existing strategies, such as expansion of advocacy in support of state reinvestment in higher education. Others – exploring online instruction and the feasibility of allowing individual campuses to charge different student fees, for example – are likely to provoke spirited debate.

Many of the issues addressed by the working groups require further research and discussion. The commission will consider feedback from the Academic Senate, staff, students and the public over the next two months before presenting a prioritized first set of recommendations to the Regents for their consideration in July.

The UC Commission on the Future, co-chaired by UC Board of Regents Chairman Russell S. Gould and President Mark G. Yudof, was created by Gould last July to help develop a vision and strategies for preserving access and quality within fiscal constraints.

“Because we face strong financial challenges, we need to look for new ways of doing business to best serve our students and the people of California,” Gould said. “Today’s recommendations are the first steps in finding those new ways to meet our educational and public service goals.”

In June, the working groups will present additional recommendations that will be reviewed by members of the UC community and the public before the commission concludes its deliberations and presents a final report to the Regents in the fall. The commission also has the option of considering other ideas beyond those forwarded by the five working groups.

“There will be an opportunity for some very robust debate within the UC community and perhaps with the general public as well,” Yudof said. “There is likely to be criticism of what’s being proposed and what hasn’t yet been proposed. I understand that and believe that the fullest possible airing of views is a healthy thing.”

All of the recommendations are posted at the UC Commission on the Future web site, http://ucfuture.universityofcalifornia.edu, to ensure public accessibility.


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