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California colleges fight budget cuts at Capitol

May 1, 2012 | 12:06 pm

The leaders of all three California higher-education systems gathered at the Capitol on Tuesday to lobby for more spending on colleges and universitiesThe leaders of all three California higher-education systems gathered at the Capitol on Tuesday to lobby for more spending on colleges and universities.

"If you're not here looking out for yourself, good things don't happen," said California State University Chancellor Charles Reed.

The Cal State and the University of California systems could each suffer $200 million in budget cuts if Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed tax increase fails at the ballot box in November. Community colleges would also be hit with cuts.

Cal State has already planned a tuition increase of at least 9%, and UC President Mark Yudof said his students could also face a "significant" increase without the new taxes.

Reed and Yudof downplayed concerns about high executive salaries at the schools, which have been a flash point in the debate over tuition increases.

Gesturing toward the Capitol, Yudof said, "The problem lies in this building, not at the Board of Regents."

Reed noted that Cal State is looking for seven university presidents this year.

"We have to compete in a national marketplace," he said. "Our presidents' compensation is less than 1% of our operating budget if you put all of our presidents together."

RELATED:

Cal State panel approves pay hike for two university presidents

Student anger over education cuts puts heat on state lawmakers

Cal State plans to freeze enrollment next spring at most campuses

-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento
twitter.com/@chrismegerian

Photo: University of California President Mark Yudof during a news conference in Oakland in 2010. Credit: Paul Sakuma / Associated Press

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