January 17, 2000
Governor's budget gives major boost to UC
By Brad Hayward
"This is a superb budget for the University of California," said UC President Richard C. Atkinson. "We are pleased that the governor has affirmed UC's role in assisting the public schools and fostering economic growth in California. The governor also has provided an increase in our basic budget that allows us to maintain access, quality, and affordability."
Atkinson also thanked the governor for honoring key funding principles of a partnership agreement that UC, the California State University, and the Davis administration have been developing. Such an agreement would provide long-term funding stability for higher education, and UC and CSU would commit to accountability on performance measures of importance to the state.
Overall, the 2000-01 budget proposal would provide UC with a 12.1 percent, $328 million state General Fund increase over 1999-2000. More than one-fifth of this increase is attributable to the governor's teacher development initiatives for UC. The university's state-funded budget would total $3 billion under the plan.
K-12 and Outreach Initiatives
The budget includes nearly $70 million to create or expand UC-led programs providing professional development to teachers in California's public schools. The proposals include a $20 million expansion of the California Subject Matter Projects, which provide subject-specific professional development to K-12 teachers; and a $14 million augmentation to the Governor's Reading Professional Development Institutes, which would expand to serve 14,000 K-3 teachers, up from the 6,300 now being served in the program's first year.
The package also includes funding to establish the California Algebra Institutes for high school algebra teachers; to initiate the California Mathematics Institutes for teachers in grades 4-6; to double state support for the English Language Development Professional Institutes for high school teachers; to establish Professional Development Institutes for high school math and English teachers; and to expand the New Teacher Center at UC Santa Cruz.
While UC would take the lead in administering these programs, all segments of education would collaborate in their implementation, Atkinson said. "We look forward to working with our partners in higher education and the public schools to expand opportunities for the professional development of California's teachers," Atkinson said. "Well-trained teachers are indispensable to seeing that all students receive an education that will ensure they reach their full potential."
Beyond the $70 million for teacher development programs, the budget includes a $3 million augmentation to a UC program providing online Advanced Placement courses to students in schools with few or no AP classes; additional funding for the California State Summer School for Math and Science, which provides enrichment to academically talented high school students; and funding to develop Algebra and Pre-Algebra Academies for students in grades 7-8 and 4-6, respectively.
The budget also would provide $1 million to improve the transfer rate of community college students to UC; $1 million to expand outreach efforts for graduate and professional school students; and $500,000 for research on the root causes of educational disparity in California.
The governor has made a major commitment to university research benefiting the state's economy by offering $75 million in capital funding for three California Institutes for Science and Innovation to be established at UC campuses. Each center would focus on scientific and engineering research in a sector key to the future of the California economy, bringing together faculty, undergraduates, graduate students, and industrial partners to work in cross-disciplinary teams aimed at developing the next generation of knowledge in the field.
Specific sites for the centers would be selected based on proposals submitted by the campuses. State funding for the centers would be matched by private and federal sources.
"The research innovations and skilled workforce provided by UC have played a critical role in the success of the California economy in the 20th century," Atkinson said. "These centers will help California remain competitive in the 21st century by mobilizing the state's best scientists and engineers to stimulate innovation in fields critical to our collective future."
The budget also would provide funding for UC research in several areas of high priority for the state, including engineering and computer science, environmental science, and collaborative research with Mexican scholars on U.S.-Mexico issues. It also includes $8 million for UC to provide access for faculty and students to Internet2, a high-speed data transmission network.
Overall Operating Budget
The governor's overall budget for UC includes funding for an enrollment increase of 6,000 students, or 4 percent, consisting largely of "Tidal Wave II" students -- the Baby Boomers' children who are expected to swell UC's enrollment 43 percent by 2010. The budgeted enrollment increase for 2000-01 also reflects UC's efforts to increase enrollments in engineering, computer science, and education credential programs in order to meet state workforce needs in these areas.
The governor's budget would provide state funding to avoid a 4.5 percent increase in mandatory systemwide student fees, which have not been raised since 1994-95. These fees, not including campus-based miscellaneous fees, would remain at $3,429 for undergraduates and $3,609 for graduate students. The budget also would prevent an increase in professional school fees.
Other highlights of the budget include $6 million as the first step in a multi-year plan to strengthen the quality of undergraduate education at UC; a $26 million augmentation for deferred maintenance, instructional technology, instructional equipment and library materials; $25 million in one-time funds for equipment at UC teaching hospitals; funding for salary adjustments, including merit increases, for faculty and staff as part of a continuing effort to maintain competitive salaries; and augmentations for the California Digital Library and Cooperative Extension programs.
The budget provides $1.1 million to begin planning an off-campus center in the Santa Clara Valley, one of several strategies UC is pursuing to accommodate enrollment demand over the next decade. UC also has requested state funding for summer instruction as part of an effort to expand summer course offerings, which are not currently state-supported. UC will work with the governor and Legislature this spring to address the policy and funding issues associated with this proposal.
In addition to the capital funding provided for the three research centers, the governor would fully fund the Regents' $213 million capital budget. This capital budget includes 36 construction, renovation, and seismic retrofit projects at the nine existing UC campuses and also includes $14.3 million for initial site development, planning, and infrastructure at UC Merced.