[Currents headergraphic]

July 5, 1999

Budget invests in UC access, quality, affordability

By Brad Hayward
UC Office of the President

The 1999-2000 state budget signed into law by Gov. Gray Davis at the end of June provides significant new funds that will allow the University of California to continue its investment in quality academic programs, maintain access for qualified students, and become an even more affordable institution for Californians seeking a higher education.

The budget plan funds the UC Board of Regents' basic budget request for 1999-2000, which provides additional funding for core needs including enrollment growth, compensation for faculty and staff, and cost increases for current programs. The budget funds UC enrollment growth of 5,500 students in 1999-2000, a 3.7 percent increase over 1998-99. The spending plan also provides additional funding for UC in the critical areas of deferred maintenance, instructional technology, instructional equipment, and library collections.

The budget also provides funding for other initiatives at UC, including $17 million in new funding for outreach programs and K-12 academic improvement initiatives.

"This budget preserves the excellence of the University of California," said UC President Richard C. Atkinson. "We are grateful to Governor Davis and the legislature for the commitment they have demonstrated to maintaining the university as one of the world's great institutions of learning. This budget makes a solid investment in quality teaching and research, access and affordability for our students, and collaborative efforts to help improve K-12 education in California."

The budget increases state General Fund spending for UC by $189 million to a total of $2.7 billion, or 7.5 percent above the 1998-99 level.

Under the budget plan, mandatory systemwide fees for resident undergraduates will fall 5 percent, from $3,609 per year to $3,429. Mandatory systemwide fees for resident academic graduate students also will fall 5 percent, from $3,799 per year to $3,609. (These fee levels do not include campus miscellaneous fees.) The Board of Regents will be asked to take action on these fee reductions at its July meeting, along with a 4.5 percent ($420) increase in nonresident tuition, consistent with state policy on tuition for out-of-state students.

The fee cut for resident undergraduates is the second 5 percent reduction in as many years. This marks the fifth consecutive year that fees for UC resident undergraduates have not been raised. Already, these fees are more than $1,000 per year below the average at UC's public comparison institutions around the nation.

"These fee reductions will be welcomed by our students and their families," Atkinson said. "We also are pleased that while fees are being reduced, the governor and legislature have maintained the state's contribution to financial aid."

The budget provides funds for increased salary costs for eligible UC employees--an average of 2 percent plus normal merit increases. The actual distribution of funds will vary depending upon the employee's compensation program and upon collective bargaining requirements. The budget also includes funding for competitive market-based salary adjustments for faculty members, cooperative extension specialists, and information technology professionals.

Also included in the UC budget is funding for several programs proposed by the governor to assist California's K-12 educational system. These programs include Reading Professional Development Institutes to provide summer instruction in the teaching of reading for up to 6,000 K-3 teachers; Teacher Scholars, a 15-month program for prospective teachers leading to a teaching credential and master's degree from UC; and the Principal Leadership Institute, a two-year curriculum to train school principals.

The budget also provides funding for the development of online Advanced Placement courses for high school students; for the Summer School for Math and Science, an academic development program to enrich some of the state's brightest students; for English Language Learners, a professional development program for teachers; and for summer pre-intern teaching academies serving teachers who have emergency credentials.

Additionally, $1.5 million in new funding is provided for UC outreach programs to prospective graduate and professional school students.

Other items in the budget include:

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