Friday, November 21, 2014

Room for Deal With Brown?

As blog readers will know, the Regents approved the tuition/funding budget proposal which Governor Brown opposed.  The "regular" Regents - excluding the two Brown just nominated - voted in favor at the meeting of Nov. 20.  The ex officio elected officials voted against, along with the one-year student Regent.

At the initial meeting of Nov. 19, Brown proposed a joint commission be formed to explore some of his pet cost-saving idea.  He attributed them to the Committee on the Future, a group formed by UC to deal with the budget crisis which threw out a laundry list of ideas, not necessarily all endorsed.  However, the commission idea - although not with just the agenda items Brown proposed and with a fast enough time frame to produce a useful document within a few months - could provide an avenue for the Regents and Brown to come to some kind of compromise.  Brown may see it as something like the Master Plan committee associated with his dad.  It's an avenue worth exploring.  As we keep noting on this blog, proposals made in negotiations are not necessarily final positions and not necessarily what the proposer expects to get.

Brown's proposed commission plan is at:

Meanwhile, below is a link to a video (audio with still pictures) of the Brown proposal.  [The original recording has some minor gaps and he video is edited slightly to meet the YouTube time limits.] Also, some news excerpts are below.

Hours after the University of California Board of Regents voted 14-7 to raise tuition, UC President Janet Napolitano told KQED that she hopes the increase never happens.  Napolitano said the 5 percent per year increase over five years is “a ceiling” that can be significantly reduced if the state steps up and increases funding for the university...  (She is clearly inviting a deal with the governor.)

"In many respects, this meeting is the end of the beginning of a process," UC President Janet Napolitano said in an interview after the much-anticipated vote. The plan allows her to lower or eliminate the hikes annually if state funding for UC rises enough.  The former governor of Arizona and U.S. secretary of Homeland Security who took the helm at UC a year ago, Napolitano is no stranger to tough politics. However, she never before faced such strong public criticism from the top California leadership — fellow Democrats literally sitting next to her Thursday. Now the 238,400-student university waits to see whether her strategy wins extra money or backfires by antagonizing Brown and others…

Full story at

…Gov. Brown wants the UC to establish a blue ribbon committee to reduce its cost structure, without limiting access and quality, through three-year degrees, more online course options, and other suggestions already made by the UC Commission on the Future. But these suggestions to the Regents did not steer them away from voting yes on lifting student’s tuition. “We don’t have time to wait for another commission,” UC President Janet Napolitano said at their Wednesday meeting. “We can have it and maybe we will get some really nifty ideas out of it, but the budget process moves along.” Now that tuition freezes aren’t guaranteed, it’s unclear whether Brown will draw his own line on continuing the state’s incremental increases to the UC’s funding…

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