SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The rebellion against tuition and fee hikes brewing on the board that oversees the University of California starts at the top.
UC Regents chair Sherry Lansing voted in favor of the 9.6 percent tuition increase, even as she promised the fee hike that kicks in this fall will be the last one for a while.
This time, Lansing said, she voted reluctantly to pass about 25 percent of the latest funding cut onto students. That means another $1,000 increase for each student when the bill comes.
Lansing said she hopes to lower tuition in the future instead of raising it again, saying it’s up to voters to let lawmakers know they won’t tolerate any further cuts to funding for higher education.
“If the citizens of California rise up and say the most important thing to us is the education of our children, then they respond because people want to be re-elected,” she said.
KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:
One of the regents who voted no, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, said this was the time to take a stand, hold the line on tuition and send that message to the legislature now.
“I’d love to do a ballot initiative. I’d love to talk oil severance tax. I’d love to have all those things, but hell, we’ve been saying those things for ten damn years.”
Indeed the regents have voted to raise student fees ten years in a row.
Lansing urged Newsom to help, by making the case in Sacramento that the budget cuts have to stop, or else the regents will be right back here next year voting again to raise tuition.
Salaries of university administrators have also steadily climbed, creating what KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier sees as a split among voters.
“Some of these people getting raises are the same ones that threatened to sue the system if they didn’t get their pensions bumped up as well,” Matier said.
KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier Comments:
You can hear Phil Matier’s comments Monday through Friday at 7:50am and 5:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.
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