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Tough choices this week for Regents on student fee increase

On the agenda of the July 12–14 meeting of the UC Board of Regents is a recommendation by President Yudof that roughly one-quarter of the university’s budget shortfall be offset with tuition and fee increases.

The state budget situation and its effect on public higher education is making national headlines, as evidenced by a story in the July 8 edition of the New York Times.

Because of the $650 million state funding cut — and more than $350 million in unfunded mandatory cost increases consisting largely of unsupported students and rising contributions to the employee retirement plan and health benefits — UC is facing a budget shortfall of $1 billion.

Cost-cutting and revenue-generating measures are in place to fill about three-quarters of the billion-dollar budget gap. The Regents will consider, among other options, a proposed tuition increase of 9.6 percent beyond the 8 percent previously approved for the 2011–12 school year.

If implemented this fall, that increase would cover nearly $140 million of the $650 million funding reduction in the state budget; the overall tuition increase, including the 8 percent hike previously approved, would cover approximately 26 percent of the UC budget shortfall of $1 billion.

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