Monday, September 5, 2011

CPEC Says Goodbye

CPEC - the California Postsecondary Education Commission - is in the process of going out of business, since it was zeroed out in the most recent state budget. As the webshot immediately above indicates, the CPEC website will go dark sometime this month. In the meantime, however, you can still find data on higher ed, such as the chart at the top comparing UC and U of Texas tuition. (You could probably have guessed - without the chart - which has become more expensive in recent years.)

Since the website is soon to be toast, some info on CPEC's closure and original purpose is reproduced below. Also reproduced below (scroll to the bottom) are links to various UC data sites.

The California Postsecondary Education Commission's entire General Fund allocation for 2011-12 was eliminated by Governor Brown in a line item veto upon signing the State Budget on June 30, 2011. This means that the Commission will cease to operate after the expiration of the required period for employees to find other positions or be laid off. The veto did not affect the federally-funded Improving Teacher Quality State Grants Program, which is expected to be transferred to another department, most likely the California Department of Education.

The Commission is working to relocate staff to other agencies and to preserve and protect the policy, research, and information assets of CPEC that are the product of nearly four decades of operation. It is unknown at this time what data, website, and documentary resources will remain available to the public, or where they may be housed.

Tentative plans exist for the Commission to hold its next regular quarterly meeting in early September; there will be no further meetings of the Commission after that date. The CPEC office is expected to remain open until the fall of 2011; a definite closing date will be posted on the website when it is available.

Commissioners and staff would like to thank the many higher education stakeholders, public policy agencies, elected officials and staffs, and members of the general public who have supported our work and utilized our resources over the life of the Commission and its predecessor agency, the Coordinating Council for Higher Education.


The 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education recognized that critical to the success of the State's tripartite system of public higher education was a central body responsible for coordination and planning for higher education. The California Postsecondary Education Commission was established in 1974 as the State planning and coordinating body for higher education by Assembly Bill 770 (Chapter 1187 of the Statutes of 1973), Education Code Section Education Code 66900-66906. The Commission serves a unique role in integrating policy, fiscal, and programmatic analyses about California's entire system of postsecondary education; "to assure the effective utilization of public postsecondary education resources, thereby eliminating waste and unnecessary duplication, and to promote diversity, innovation, and responsiveness to student and societal needs through planning and coordination."

The Commission provides the legislative and the executive branches of government with advice and information about major policy and planning issues concerning education beyond high school. This comprehensive, statewide planning for postsecondary education in the State is perhaps the most significant of the Commission's multiple responsibilities.


The Commission consists of 16 members who are paid a stipend of $100 per meeting day. Nine of the commissioners represent the general public, with three each appointed for six-year terms by the Office of the Governor, the Senate Rules Committee, and the Speaker of the Assembly. Five others represent the major systems of postsecondary education in California: the California Community Colleges, the California State University, the University of California, the independent colleges and universities, and the California State Board of Education. Two student members are appointed by the Office of the Governor.

The Commission appoints its executive director who coordinates the agency's staff to carry out the day to day work of the Commission. Its external affairs staff interacts on a daily basis with legislators and their staff, administrative offices, governmental officials, and media representatives. Its research staff prepares analyses, briefs, and numerous publications approved and published by the Commission. They also engage in various continuing activities such as reviewing proposed academic programs, new campuses or centers, conducting data analysis of student flow, and responding to requests of the Legislature and Governor.


While there are many tasks and responsibilities which the Commission and its staff fulfill, the primary statutory purposes of the California Postsecondary Education Commission are:

* Develop an ongoing statewide plan for the operation of an educationally and economically sound, vigorous, innovative and coordinated system of postsecondary education;

* Identify and recommend policies to meet the educational, research and public service needs of the State of California; and

* Advise the Governor and Legislature on policy and budget priorities that best preserve broad access to high quality postsecondary education opportunities.

In carrying out its responsibilities, the Commission reflects a deep commitment to serving the State as a whole, consistent with the underlying philosophy of the state's Master Plan for Higher Education. The Commission is committed to an educational environment that exemplifies equality and educational opportunity, as well as a focus on student and institutional achievement and accountability.


Among the duties and responsibilities of the Commission are the following:

* Provide independent, comprehensive, and timely information about student enrollment, educational outcomes and other educational policy issues;

* Conduct long-range planning of the needs for new college or university campuses in light of projected enrollment demand;

* Review proposals from public colleges and universities for new degree programs;

* Serve as the State's primary information clearinghouse for postsecondary education;

* Evaluate budget requests of State-supported colleges and universities;

* Develop policy recommendations regarding financial aid programs for California students;

* Seek strategies for greater efficiency and cost containment in postsecondary education;

* Administer federal programs that improve teacher training by facilitating collaboration between K-12 and higher education faculties;

* Recommend to the Legislature and the Governor legislation the Commission deems necessary or appropriate to improve postsecondary education in California;

* Encourage greater cooperation and collaboration between and among California educational systems.

The CPEC website provided links to various data centers related to UC. These are reproduced below:

Higher Education Research Institute
University of California Berkeley Office of Planning and Analysis
University of California Berkeley Office of Student Research
University of California Data: Data Archive & Technical Assistance
University of California Davis Administative and Resource Management
University of California Davis Student Affairs Research and Information
University of California Information Digest
University of California Irvine Office of Analytical Studies and Information Management
University of California Los Angeles Office of Analysis and Information Management
University of California San Diego Institutional Research
University of California San Diego Student Research and Information
University of California Santa Barbara Institutional Research and Planning
University of California Santa Cruz Office of Institutional Research and Policy Studies
University of California Statfinder
University of California Statistical Summary of Students and Staff
University of California, Berkeley, Planning and Research

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