Tuition issue: The Student Protection Act

SB 917 Student Protection Act

Senator Jeff Denham

February 16, 2010


SB 2917 would require any increase in mandatory CSU student fees adopted by the trustees to not become effective at least 180 calendar days after the date until the increase is adopted.  SB 917 will also limit the amount of any fee increase to no more than 10% for the immediately preceding academic year. This measure request the UC Regents to implement the same policy.


The CSU system has continually increased students’ tuition over the last 6 years. 04-05 increased 13.37%, 05-06 increased 8.50%, 06-07 increased 1.11%, 07-08 increased 10.07%, 08-09 increased 9.32%, and 09-10 increased 27.12% from the previous year.

CSU System has raised fees and cut back on the number classes available. This has impacted students with higher tuition cost and increased the average time needed to graduate from the CSU system from 4 years to 5 or 6 years, costing students and their families’ even more.

The CSU reimbursed a high-ranking official in the chancellor’s office $152,441 for expenses he should not have billed to the university. Two top executives left their position and remained on the payroll for up to a year after leaving their position, one earning $157, 932 a year and the other 173, 952 a year.

Recently CSU has given professors and teachers paid sabbaticals while they have been cutting back classes. For example Sacramento State approved 51 sabbaticals, CSU Fullerton approved 43 sabbaticals, including one for an art teacher to write and illustrate a children’s book. CSU Bakerfield approved 14 sabbaticals, including one professor who is using the time to work on the book, “Mapping the After Life.

Since 2003, the CSU system has raised student fees by an average of 11.5% per year.  Between the Academic Year of 2008-2009 to 2009-2010, student fees increased 27%.  These large increases have forced many students to drop out of college completely.

The UC system maintains numerous questionable properties, including a Tahiti Island Getaway, which is subsidized by taxpayer dollars and student tuition.


Existing law authorizes the trustees of the California State University to require that fees, among other charges, be paid by students of that institution.

The California Constitution establishes the University of California as a public trust and requires the university to be governed by the Regents of the University of California, a corporation in the form of a board, with full powers of organization and government, subject to legislative control. (Article IX, Section 9)


SB 917 resolves this issue by limiting the amount the CSU Administration can raise student fees in a given year and allows students to prepare and plan for the fee hikes. This will empower students to meet their educational goals and encourage our higher education system to use the taxpayers’ dollars more wisely.


Staff: Jennifer W. Tannehill/Matt Theis

(916) 651-4012

(916) 445-0773 [Fax]


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