Lawmakers would like to see the University of California admit more resident high-schoolers and fewer students from outside the state. UC says it can’t do that without funding increases. Can the two sides finally come to an agreement?
At a budget subcommittee hearing Tuesday, Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, unveiled a spending proposal to expand California enrollment at the university by 30,000 students, or 17 percent, over the next six years. The plan would also mandate a reduction of nearly a third – about 10,000 – in the number of nonresidents, bringing them down to 10 percent of undergraduate students.
McCarty has been a vocal critic of UC’s increasing emphasis on recruiting higher-paying out-of-state and international students, which the university has said was vital to maintain California enrollment amid steep budget cuts during the recession. His proposal follows a recent state audit that argued UC’s actions disadvantaged resident applicants, a conclusion the university vigorously disputes.
The plan would combine additional funding from the state, topping out at more than $200 million in the sixth year, with tens of millions of dollars in administrative efficiencies by UC and a gradual supplemental tuition hike for nonresident students totaling about $11,300.
“It all comes down to money,” McCarty said. “The nonresident enrollment has been born upon economics.”
Representatives from UC at the hearing were caught off-guard by McCarty’s budget proposal, which passed unanimously and will advance to the full Assembly budget committee for consideration.
“We oppose. That’s my first comment,” said Kieran Flaherty, the university’s interim executive director for budget. “It’s a very steep increase, equivalent to adding a whole new campus.”
“However, I would be open to continuing a conversation,” he said...