Every year, the UC Regents host a retreat to talk about larger visions for the future – they are open to the public, and they are to talk more casually and long-term about the issues facing the UC community. I will be live blogging the meeting (as much as I can, cuz you know, I also should probably participate).
11AM – Chair Gould starts off the retreat with public comment and an introduction. Interesting fact: According to a third party evaluator, if the UC has flat funding from the state, continues double digit fee increases, and tries to keep it’s quantifiable quality standards, we’ll be in a multiple billion dollar deficit in a decade. Damn.
11:30AM – Yudof’s bad joke of the day: Denial is not just a river in Egypt. He’s referring to denial of the state budget situation. Good point, bad joke. Also, Yudof’s most commonly used quote (The Yudof Quote): “When stuck in a storm, a pessimist will prepare to sink, a optimist will hope for better winds, and a realist will adjust the sails. I am a realist.” He also talks about aggressive legislative campaigning by UCOP in the coming year – District office visits to all 120 legislators, full scale visiting campaign, joint rally between all three higher education institutions.
11:30: Department of Finance Director Michael Genest speaking on the State persspective on 1020-2011 CA budget. He breaks down the 60 b budget gap – 47.3 loss of revenue, 10.8 2 yr change of workload – .9 reserves. He also conservative estimates that employments and rate of growth of personal income will start improving in 2010-11. He also estimates that spending will outstrip revenues in the state by 15b by 2012-2013.
12PM – 2012-13 CA budget estimates: K-12 funding takes 35%, Corrections takes 8%, Debt Services takes 8%, Medical takes 15%, Higher Education only takes 7%. While K-12, CalWORKs, or SSI/SSP (welfare) are under population/inflation needs; Corrections is over population/inflation needs by 2billion. So is Medical, but that is also skewed by the age of population and need.
12:11 The population/inflation needs for higher education right now is at 8billion, but higher ed spending is only 6 billion. into 12-13, we’re going to continue to be 2b under population needs. Sadness. Pension, Healthcare, and Corrections(?) are all called out as threats to UC funding. UC is being cut because it’s easier (legislatively) to cut us than it is to cut healthcare, or corrections, etc.etc. We don’t have entitlement programs nor COLA adjustments.
12:30 – Regent Makarechian: How confident are you in your revenue projections? Answer: Um…not too confident. Big surprises hurt. We had a big surprise this year. Regent Ruiz: If we raise fee increases will you lower spending to the UC? It’s hard to say…maybe? Regent De la Pena: Are we also getting cut from the Fed? No, they’ve been very generous to us. We’re leaving Fed Matching Funds on the table when we don’t spending state funds to healthcare, etc.etc.
12:45: Regent Marcus just went hard on the State of CA for not apprpriately valuing the UC to the state public. Propz to Regent Marcus! However, Genest put a good point about the barriers to UC going into the political arena – it’s hard to go against dental care and the human cost of healthcare. Regent Reiss: Best case senario, 7-8b, worst case 15b deficit in 2012-13.
1PM: Also, it turns out that the only state funding that really is locked in is 8% for debt service. It’s possible to suspend or eliminate entitlement programs, or propositions like Prop 98. It’s just difficult to do. My Question: If we increase fees above the estimated 10% fee increase, that is matched by CalGrant increases, will CalGrant spending will also increase to match? The Answer: I don’t think we can say that fairly, we can barely afford matching the current 10% increase. SADNESS.
2PM: We’re back, and Regent Gould is talking about the UC Commission on the Future! Talks about our low standing in degree production – we’re 40-something in rankings of degree production both in four years and transfer students. Because the Liveblog is so long, I’m going to start a new post, LiveBlog UC Regents Retreat A.L.! (After Lunch)! So check it!