Details of Thursday's vote at UCSF's Mission Bay campus and the surrounding fracas from the Los Angeles Times:
Over the din of students chanting their protest, the University of California regents voted 14-7 on Thursday to approve tuition increases of as much as 5% for each of the next five years.
The actual voice vote of the regents could not be heard by the public as about 25 students in the meeting room yelled, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, tuition hikes have got to go!"
The vote for the increases sets up months of negotiations and political posturing before a final tuition-percentage increase is chosen. UC officials say the hike can be eliminated or moderated if state funding increases enough.
The opposing votes were cast by Gov. Jerry Brown, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, student regent Sadia Saifuddin and two new regents appointed by Brown earlier this week, former Assembly Speaker John Perez and Long Beach City College President Eloy Ortiz Oakley.
Update, 1:35 p.m. Wednesday: A key UC Board of Regents committee has approved a plan to raise tuition by as much as 5 percent a year for the next five years. Some details by way of the Los Angeles Times:
The regents committee on long range planning approved the hike in a 7-2 vote after an unusual debate that pitted the state’s most powerful political leaders against administrators of the 10-campus UC system. The full board of regents is scheduled to vote Thursday on the proposed increase, which would end a three-year freeze on tuition.
UC officials said the increase could be lowered if enough state funding comes through.
Gov. Jerry Brown argued strongly against the tuition increase and instead proposed an in-depth study of such basic educational and cost issues as getting students to graduate in three years, offering more online courses and consolidating programs duplicated across UC campuses.
He and student regent Sadia Saifuddin cast the two dissenting votes.
For undergraduates who are California residents, tuition next year could rise to $12,804, not including room, board and books. By the 2019-20 school year, that could increase to $15,564.
UC President Janet Napolitano has said the university needs more money to help cover rising costs of pensions and salary costs, to hire more faculty and to boost the number of California undergraduates by 5,000.
Original post: Gov. Jerry Brown appeared Wednesday morning at the start of a two-day UC Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco to announce he'll vote against a proposal to raise tuition. Then he offered a counterproposal.
In place of UC President Janet Napolitano's plan to raise tuition as much as 25 percent over five years, Brown wants the Board of Regents to appoint a panel to study the university's finances.
Among the steps the governor wants a select committee to study are streamlining offerings on UC's 10 campuses, offering more online courses, granting credit based on work experience and making it easier for community college students to transfer into UC. All those steps would make it easier for UC students to earn degrees more quickly.
Brown's proposal (full text below) follows moves he made earlier in the week to derail Napolitano's proposal. From the San Francisco Chronicle's Matier and Ross:
... Brown on Monday appointed former Assembly Speaker John Pérez — who has already gone as record saying the UC tuition plan “takes us in the wrong direction” — to a 12-year term on the board that starts immediately.
“This is a brushback pitch, but a very smooth one,” said one Sacramento insider who has spoken to Brown about the appointment.
The feeling in the Brown camp is that if the tuition hike is approved, it will stir student protests and put pressure on state lawmakers to increase funding to the system beyond a 4 percent bump-up promised for each of the next two years.
Just two months ago, Brown vetoed legislation giving UC an extra $50 million for backlogged building maintenance — something Napolitano pointed out in an e-mail the other day announcing the tuition plan.
Adding to the tension: Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is also a regent, heard about the proposed tuition hikes from reporters.
Newsom wasted little time slamming Napolitano, telling The Chronicle’s John Diaz that the tuition proposal was “disrespectful to the governor” and “tactically naive.”
An estimated 100 student protesters gathered outside Wednesday morning's regents meeting. At least one student was reportedly arrested after a scuffle with police, and retired UC Chancellor Karl Pister, 89, said protesters knocked him down. From the Los Angeles Times:
About 100 protesters tried to block entrances into the building as regents and other UC officials tried to enter. Some of the officials were jostled as they wedged their way through the yelling crowd. Pushing matches between police and protesters erupted at several entrances and at metal barricades.
A 21 year old male UC Berkeley student was arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism and inciting a riot, said Elizabeth Fernandez, a spokeswoman for UC San Francisco. She said that a group of demonstrators forced their way through metal barricades and police security lines.
While attempting to force their way to where the regents were meeting, a large glass door was shattered, Fernandez said.
No one appeared to be seriously injured in the protest.
However, former UC Chancellor Karl Pister, who is 89, later said he was knocked down and cut his hand as he tried to enter the building. Wearing a small bandage on one hand, he later addressed the regents in support of the tuition increase and said he spoke for a group of other retired chancellors.
In all his years as a UC administrator and faculty member, he said, "today is the first time I was knocked down."
Here's Brown's statement:
I request that the following be placed on the January 2015 agenda for Regental action:
1. A select committee is hereby established to develop proposals to reduce the university’s cost structure, while increasing access and quality.
2. The membership of the select committee shall be determined by the President of the Regents and the President of the University.
3. The Office of the President and the Department of Finance are designated to jointly staff the select committee.
4. The committee shall consult with distinguished experts, both within and outside the university.
5. The select committee shall consider the following five initiatives and others that may be recommended:
• Identify pathways for undergraduate students to complete degrees in no more than three years, as recommended by the UC Commission on the Future.
• Implement consistent lower-division major requirements across all campuses, as recommended by the Commission on the Future, as well as policies that (1) guarantee admission with junior status to any California community college student who earns an associate degree for transfer with an agreed-upon grade point average and (2) specify that a student admitted with an associate degree for transfer generally is not required to take any more than 60 additional semester units or 90 additional quarter units, consistent with SB 1440 (2010).
• Offer a wide range of online courses enrolling large numbers of students far beyond the capacity of any seat-based classroom.
• Expand policies that grant unit credit to students who demonstrate academic competence through work experience, military training, or other appropriate learning pathways.
• Delineate, in reasonable detail, cross-campus collaborations and campus-specific specialization that, over time, would provide differentiation among the campuses. In addition, a range of disciplinary consolidations should be carefully considered. These goals were suggested by the report of the Commission on the Future.
6. The President of the University shall complete and present, no later than January 2015, to the select committee the report required by AB 94 (2013) regarding university spending on undergraduate instruction, graduate instruction and research.
7. The select committee shall report back to the Regents with a preliminary progress report no later than March 2015, with subsequent reports as necessary.