UC 411: Fee Increase Speculation, not 20…but 10 Percent?

The Sacramento Bee stated in an article:

But next year’s fees could go up “anywhere from 0 to 20 percent,” UC’s vice president for budget told a group of student government leaders this month.

Patrick Lenz said he told the student leaders that UC is facing a $1 billion shortfall next year and university officials are working on many ways to close the gap.

“A fee recommendation is not going to be the single largest driver of our needs,” Lenz said.

UC’s governing Board of Regents is likely to vote on next year’s fee levels in November or January.

Given the bleak predictions for next year’s state budget, it’s unlikely universities will hold the line on fees, said Steve Boilard, director of higher education for the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

“I would be shocked if there was not a fee increase,” he said. “If I had to guess, I’d put it in the range of roughly 10 percent for each segment again.”

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/10/20/3117160/after-massive-cuts-higher-ed-funding.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+StatelineorgRss-Headlines+%28Stateline.org+RSS+-+Headlines%29


One response to “UC 411: Fee Increase Speculation, not 20…but 10 Percent?

  1. $ 500,000 public employee salary at University of California. UC Berkeley’s recent elimination of popular sports programs highlighted endemic problems in the university’s management. Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s eight-year fiscal track record is dismal indeed. He would like to blame the politicians in Sacramento, since they stopped giving him every dollar he has asked for, and the state legislators do share some responsibility for the financial crisis. But not in the sense he means.

    A competent chancellor would have been on top of identifying inefficiencies in the system and then crafting a plan to fix them. Compentent oversight by the Board of Regents and the legislature would have required him to provide data on problems and on what steps he was taking to solve them. Instead, every year Birgeneau would request a budget increase, the regents would agree to it, and the legislature would provide. The hard questions were avoided by all concerned, and the problems just piled up….until there was no money left.

    It’s not that Birgeneau was unaware that there were, in fact, waste and inefficiencies in the system. Faculty and staff have raised issues with senior management, but when they failed to see relevant action taken, they stopped. Finally, Birgeneau engaged some expensive ($3 million) consultants, Bain & Company, to tell him what he should have been able to find out from the bright, engaged people in his own organization.

    From time to time, a whistleblower would bring some glaring problem to light, but the chancellor’s response was to dig in and defend rather than listen and act. Since UC has been exempted from most whistleblower lawsuits, there are ultimately no negative consequences for maintaining inefficiencies.

    In short, there is plenty of blame to go around. But you never want a serious crisis to go to waste. An opportunity now exists for the UC president, Board of Regents, and California legislators to jolt UC Berkeley back to life, applying some simple check-and-balance management principles. Increasing the budget is not enough; transforming senior management is necessary. The faculty, students, staff, academic senate, Cal. alumni, and taxpayers await the transformation.

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