Regents Approve Increased Fees
Facing a severe budget shortfall as a result of the state’s fiscal crisis — which has been exacerbated by a deepening economic recession — the UC Board of Regents approved a student fee increase for the 2009-2010 academic year. The action was taken at the Regents meeting on May 3.
The increase of 9.3% — or $662 for resident undergraduates — is consistent with the fee hike the state expected UC to enact as part of the state budget adopted in February, which left UC with a cumulative state funding shortfall of $450 million. The shortfall consists of $115 million in new cuts, $122 million in underfunded enrollments, and $213 million in unfunded mandatory costs for utilities, employee health benefits, and other inflationary costs.
Student fee increases were considered only as a last resort, and constitute just one element in a series of actions the university and the campuses have taken to confront continuing cuts in state funding, while working to protect the academic program and student services to the greatest extent possible. Other actions include freezing senior managers’ salaries, restructuring and downsizing the Office of the President, curtailing faculty recruitment, and implementing hiring freezes at the campuses.
At the May 3 meeting, the Regents also discussed the possibility of implementing furloughs and salary reductions in the event the state budget challenges require additional savings.
“While there is never a right time for a fee increase, especially during an economic downturn when families are facing hardships and uncertainty, I want to reassure our students that this year we will have an extraordinary amount of additional resources to cover the higher fees,” said UC President Mark G. Yudof.