Saturday, January 10, 2015

He said; she said

You likely know that Brown said pretty much in his budget message what he said at the November Regents meeting, i.e., no tuition increase and form a committee to study cost savings in exchange for his annual UC budget increments. (A committee is not a bad idea, but it needs to be widened to consider more general funding issues - a kind of Master Plan supplement of the Pat Brown variety.) He threw in a cap on non-California admissions. He did not go nuclear with some kind of formula that would take away a dollar for each extra dollar of tuition. Looks to me like in the next 5 months, there will be a negotiation - surely involving the legislature - so that starting positions should not be assumed to be ending positions at this point. Here is Napolitano's reaction:

Janet Napolitano, president, University of California
“The proposal that Governor Brown released today is only the first step in the process of enacting a state budget. While we are disappointed the governor did not include sufficient revenue to expand enrollment of California students and reinvest in academic quality at the university, we are hopeful that continued discussions with the governor and the legislature will yield a budget that maintains the access, affordability and excellence for which the University of California is renowned. The number of state students applying for 2015 admission to UC marked the 11th consecutive year of record high numbers of applicants, with California’s growing Latino population making up the largest group at 32.5 percent. We view all this as both a testament to the university’s value and an urgent call to our state leaders to support public higher education. Public universities require public support. On a per-student basis, the state is paying far less than it did in 1991 – from about $18,000 in 1991 to $8,000 today, in 2014-15 dollars. The university is receiving $460 million less in funding from the state than it did in 2007, even as it educates thousands more California students. These are the realities that drove the regents’ tuition decision and the key facts that should underlie our continued work with Sacramento. We understand that this is not a one-way street, nor should it be. UC has cut costs, generated new revenue, bolstered efficiencies and achieved significant savings. It also has continued its world-leading research upon which much of California’s economy depends, and which yields significant funds in the form of federal research grants. In the end, the University of California is an investment in California’s future. We look forward to continued productive discussions with the governor and the legislature so that the next generation of Californians has the same higher education opportunity as those in the past.”
Note that Napolitano did not threaten enrollment cuts.  Both sides have missiles still in the silo, in short.
Perhaps we can sum up what has happened so far by saying Round One is over. We now enter Round Two.

The one thing both sides can't do is call the whole thing off:

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