Facing Budget Cuts, UC Regents Set to Approve Fee Increases

Officials Meeting This Week Set to Finalize Fee Increases, Office of The President Budget

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The UC Board of Regents will meet at UCLA this week to finalize proposed student fee increases and the budget of the UC Office of the President, among other items on its agenda.

The regents, who will begin their regular business meeting tomorrow, are slated on Wednesday to approve a UC systemwide educational fee increase of 7 percent and registration fee increase of 10 percent. Additionally, the regents are scheduled to approve a 5 percent increase in the non-resident tuition fee for undergraduate students only.

If the increases are approved, resident undergraduate students would pay $7,126 in mandatory systemwide fees while non-resident undergraduate students would pay $7,713 beginning this summer.

"Any proposed fee increase is always regrettable," said UC spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez. "We never take lightly the decision to raise student fees."

The state currently faces an estimated $16 billion budget deficit. Under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed budget for the coming fiscal year, the university would receive $417.4 million less than they had asked of the state.

Schwarzenegger is also scheduled to update his proposed 2008-09 budget Wednesday.

"We certainly are facing a very difficult budget year," Vazquez said. "The state's fiscal situation is extremely difficult."

To offset the university's budget shortfall, the regents are also set to approve the restructuring of the UC Office of the President, a move some officials say will increase administrative efficiency.

The proposed effort to restructure the office by March 2009 would reduce spending at the university by a net amount of $30.4 million and cut the workforce at the office by 404 full-time-equivalent positions, or by 23 percent, according to a presentation at the last UC Board of Regents meeting in March.

Other items remaining on the regents meeting agenda include discussions on undergraduate diversity in the system and changes to the university's contract regarding the management of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Despite the proposed student fee increases, Vazquez said efforts have been made to increase financial aid for needy students, with 33 percent of fee revenues reserved for student aid.

"We plan to use financial aid to mitigate the impact of proposed fee increases," Vazquez said.

Tags: UC BOARD OF REGENTS, STUDENT FEES, UC BUDGET


Contact Vincent Quan at [email protected]



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