Big Day, Big Discussion; Regent Mtg Day 1, pt 2

12:20: Starting discussions now about the Mid-year and Fee increases!  Regent Varner: Is worried that we won’t ahve the avility to restore those cuts from the state.  Student Fee increases will only make it easier for them not to restore the 305 one-time cuts they made to us.  Regent Makarechian (who I also really enjoy): Why are two comparable institutions (Michigan and Illinois) are able to structure their fees so much higher than our own?  It’s how they actually structured their fees from the beginning that puts them over us.  Also, ARRA and the tax credit is not going to be available for families and students by 2010, and that’s when the real fee costs come in.

12:11PM – Victor Sanchez speaks on walking on the state legislature – “Been there 7 times in 3-4 months”, students have spent some time in the State Capitol working for UC affordability/accessiblity, but there is definitely a ways to go in this direction, including stronger collaboration with UCOP, possibly?

12PM – Victor Sanchez speaking as a representative of the students.  The first issue that he brings up is standardized statewide Graduate Student Health Insurance Program (GHIP).  Really important to grad students, and all students for our welfare.  Second issue is to preserving and protecting the California Grant program.  This year in danger of being eliminated, and UCSA wants to work with UCOP on protecting hte CalGrant (note: President Yudof has been a really strong advocate of CalGrant.  Wnat to give the man his props).  Also, speaks to the student fee increase.  He speaks against it, argument first time UC will pass the 10,000 mark by 2010-11, increase of the 9th time.  He recognizes UCOP for the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan.

12PM – Chancellor Yang (Gaucho) talks about how he’s taking a 102m budget hit on the campus – that’s 30% of his budget.  Laid off 100 members in 2 months, number of staff positions reduced by 30% in two years.  This is shocking stuff.  I feel bad for Jesse Bernal.  Over the next several years, the budget from instructinoal budget is reduced by already 25%.  Chancellor Yang says there are two thigns that he is hearing “End the furlough programs by summer of 2010, send a strong message to our political leaders about the value of the UC”!

11:40 Chancellor Drake (Anteater ZOT!) talks about the budget cuts on the ground level.  Having a hard discussion for having to do more, with less compensation.  It’s very depressing.  Turnover in Faculty usually is +50.  This year Turnover in Faculty is -45 unfilled positions, with other Faculty leaving.  Even younger faculty are not accepting UCI – staying at other institutions who are smaller because it’s more stable.  Now the core Bio sciences are ONLY COVERED by Bio majors.  That means Physics or Chemistry majors will find much harder time getting into Bio classes.  He also talks about the closing of UCI athletics programs – we miss you swimming, diving, rowing!!

He also talks about seeing a giant financial aid line outside his admin building for the first time.  Student support services are getting cut – this hurts really bad.

11:30 VP Lenz talks aobut the mid-year fee increase.  Undergraduate 585, Grad Academic 654, Grad Professional 579.  Around 15% on the fees.  Net revenue created 75.1, financial aid created 42.2.  The 10-11 fee increase would be 1344 for undergrads, 1506 for Grad academic and 1332 for Grad professional.  This would create 187m of new revenue and 104 of financial aid.  Also, Diffierential Undergrad Fees by Discipline, 900 dollars more for business and engeineering majors.

Also argues that Financial Aid will cover the increase, Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan will cover everyone under 60k.  We’re also tlaking about increases around 2k-3k for middle class families.  The argument is that increased Pell Grants and CalGrants would cover low-income students.  Financial Aid asked for by students this last year was 1.7b, 55% of undergrads got grants that were in the 1b.  Sorry if my blog is messy, there is just information flying all over the place!  The argument for financial aid is that they would cover all families under 60-70k, and moderately cover all fee increases of 180k.  Wihtout Calgrants from the state, however, only 70% of the fee cost would cover, UC would have to pay for all students under 60k, and also, Univesrity will cover one-half of UC fee increases with money up to 120k.

11:15 VP Taylor answers the myth that the UC has 5.3 billion dollars in rserves that we’re not using.  Those assests are unrestricted, but not uncommitted.  Those monies are committed to projects that will need to be paid soon, but have not been apid yet, and are distributed across 76,000 accounts in the UC systems.  Those assests have also dropped by 3b in two years from 6.5b to below 4b today.  Our unfunded retiree healthcare obligation and investment will overwhelm us by 2018 (they will be equal to our budgets for all the Med Cneters).  A large portion of these assests are in Medical Centers.  We’re required to hold some money in the Medical Centers – 3b according to the quality of our Medical Center.  We have 500m there.  Also, Capital Projects are a large part of the money, because we need to legally have all the money to spend on that capital project before we can start building, so we’re storing those monies in that account.  So this is what VP Peter Taylor is reporting!  Heavy, interesting stuff!

11:15 The State budget cut for 09-10 would mean 57.500 students cut, 2 campuses closed, 8,300 employees laid off, or all core funding for financial aid cut.

Campus actions for 08-09 are going to be Instructional Budget Cut – 56.7m, Employee Layoffs 884 people, positions Eliminated 1951, Defered Hiring 633.  Plus in 09-10, Instructional Budget Cut by 139.7m, Laid off people 1k, Positions eliminated 2k, and deferred hiring 951 people.

11:10 Furloughs also expire in one year.  So for the 2010-11 year, we will have to make up for the 184m that was saved in 2009-10 in the furloughs.  Lends to part of the problem we’re facing next year.  UC will also spend 108.9m of core fund contribution to the UC Retirement Plan, but the state has bailed out on their cost of UC Retirement plan this year.  Next year, the 2010-11 share will be 96m for the state, but they may bail again.

11:10 Big Issue: Enrollment decision, there was a four year plan presented a year ago to reduce enrollments by 8k-10k to bring back in line with state spending.  Last year, cut 2300 students.  This year, also cut 2300 students, with 250 transfers increase.  This is up for decision before the Regents, but not yet.  Right now, we are significantly over enrollment that the state money gives us, and will continue to be in the future.

11AM – Okay, we’re going to do an overview on the fiscal coniditon, governor’s actions, etc.etc.  Last year, we were looking at the budget gap for CA of 60 billion, from a sharp decrease in income tax revenues, also increased spending (mandatory).  2008-2009 Budget Actions for the UC went from 3.25B to 2.41B, which is 20% to the UC (this might all be things you’ve heard before, sorry about that).  This mean budget cuts of 240.7m dollars in campus budget cuts.  In 2009-10, we’re looking at 637.1m CA budget cut.  This means, currently, campus ar hit with 535m budget cuts after student fee increases, furloughs, etc.etc.

11AM – The discussion has started about the mid-year fee increase (15%) and the year long fee increase (15%).  VP Patrick Lenz and Peter Taylor (who are also great guys, they’re two of my favorites at UCOP) are presenting on the deep budget cuts, and why we’re talking about student fee increase.  Stay tuned, we’ll have liveblog, and maybe some good surprises, yeah?  Regent Lozano speaks about the consultive process that the budget came through – multiple people were consulted.  Also, this is a two-year budget (09-10 and 10-11) that is being proposed, which is why we’re talking aobut two fee increases.  Also, discussion of how the budget will hit low-wage workers.  Okay.  Hardcore blogging time.  They’ve started.


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