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UC Prepares Plans For Big Loss In State Funding

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Students walk to class at UC Berkeley (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Students walk to class at UC Berkeley (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP) — University of California officials are preparing plans to deal with state budget cuts that could lead to more tuition increases and less student access.

At Wednesday’s UC Regents meeting in San Francisco, administrators said the 10-campus system should be prepared to lose $500 million to $1 billion in public support. It currently receives about $3 billion annually in state funding.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau said the loss of state funds would mean that their primary source of funding would become the federal government.

“This means, without us having any choice at UC Berkeley, we’ll have evolved next year from a state-funded institution to a national public university,” Birgeneau said.

UC Regent Bruce Varner asked the chancellors to quickly come up with some other ideas.

“I really want to challenge each of you to look at creative ways where we can find new revenues that don’t go to just student fee increases,” said Varner. “But other ways that we can benefit from all of these vast resources and all of the brilliant people that we have.”

The amount of the reduction depends on whether California voters approve tax extensions to help close the state’s nearly $27 billion budget deficit.

So far, Gov. Jerry Brown has failed to secure enough Republican support to even hold the special tax election.

The chancellors of the Berkeley, Irvine and Santa Cruz campuses told regents that three years of budget cuts are hurting their ability to educate students and conduct research.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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