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UC Regents investigate long-term funding strategies

The University of California Board of Regents, in a far-ranging discussion about how to best create the long-term financial stability that the university needs to preserve quality, agreed to explore a variety of options for raising new revenue and elevating public awareness about the importance of higher education.

Sparked by presentation of a plan for stabilizing university funding levels over the next four years, regents agreed that students and their families need more predictability in their educational costs, and they agreed that UC itself needs that same stability to make decisions about enrollment levels, academic programs and its long-range plans.

The university’s top budget officers proposed a framework in which UC would seek state funding guarantees through 2015-16 for its core educational costs. Student tuition also would be set at pre-determined levels, and would increase only if state support fell short of the agreed upon levels.

Regents, while agreeing with the concept of a multi-year funding plan, asked UC administrators to come back with a variety of options that could help minimize the prospect of additional student tuition increases.

“It’s incredibility important for parents and students to know what the future looks like,” board chair Sherry Lansing said. “But I think I speak for all the regents when I say this not what we want. What kind of tactics can we think of to change the dynamic?”

Regents proposed a variety of ideas, from ramping up corporate giving for private scholarships, to joining forces with other segments of public education to raise awareness with lawmakers and the public about the importance of investing in education.

Lansing called on each of the regents to get actively involved in developing one or more ideas for solving UC’s budget troubles and to report back to her within 10 days.

More links:

  • For Carolyn McMillan’s full report, go to the UC Newsroom website.
  • At the same meeting last week, the Regents also endorsed a ballot initiative to raise the cigarette tax.

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