UC president meets with governor to discuss higher education funding

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UC President Mark Yudof, along with other state higher education leaders, met today with state Gov. Jerry Brown to plead their case for funding for public higher education.

The meeting comes one week after Brown halted negotiations with Senate and Assembly Republicans over proposed tax extensions, a move that could potentially double state funding reductions to the UC, already facing a $500 million cut enacted by Brown on March 24.

"President Yudof at the meeting was aiming for some commitment for stability, like a five-year (funding) plan for the university," said UC spokesperson Steve Montiel. "But he said that will have to wait for (the state) to get past the big speed bump of the tax extensions."

Brown spokesperson Evan Westrup said the governor remains committed to enacting the tax extensions to avoid further cuts.

"Higher ed leaders and the governor share the concern that without the extension of revenues, the colleges and university face additional cuts that could prove devastating," he said.

The tax extensions would bring in over $14 billion in revenue to the state by extending for five years temporary increases in income tax, sales tax and vehicle license fees, according to a state Legislative Analyst's Office report, but required two Republican votes in both the Assembly and Senate to be approved for the June ballot Brown initially proposed.

Without the increased revenue, the state could be forced to deepen the cuts to higher education, potentially dealing the UC a $1 billion cut in funding from the previous fiscal year.

California State University Chancellor Charles Reed and California Community College Chancellor Jack Scott also attended the meeting. CSU has already had a $500 million funding reduction signed into law by Brown and will be forced to take 10,000 fewer students than last year, according to CSU spokesperson Erik Fallis, while the community colleges will suffer over $400 million in cuts and will see per unit prices rise $10 to $36 per unit, according to the plan already enacted by Brown.

Yudof, Reed and Scott have joined forces frequently since the total of $1.4 billion in cuts to higher education were initially proposed by Brown in early January, issuing joint statements to the Californian people and testifying at congressional committee hearings. This is the first meeting the three have had with Brown since the cuts were announced.

Yudof also met with several Assembly members, including Assembly Speaker John Perez, while in Sacramento, according to Montiel.


Jordan Bach-Lombardo is the lead higher education reporter. Contact him at [email protected]

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