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UC Regents committee approves student fee increases; at least 14 protesters arrested at meeting at UCLA

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A University of California Board of Regents committee today approved a series of controversial increases in student fees that, if passed by the full board, will raise UC undergraduate education costs by more than $2,500, or 32%, in two steps by fall 2010.

The finance committee vote is expected to be endorsed by the full Board of Regents on Thursday. The two-day meeting is being held at UCLA, where today's session has been marked by raucous protests with at least 14 arrests.

Me-UCfees19 The first step of the fee hike, costing undergraduates an additional $585, will take effect in January. Next fall, students will see another $1,344 increase, bringing the UC education fees to $10,302, along with about $1,000 in campus-based charges. That does not include room, board and books, which can add another $16,000.

Demonstrations broke out inside the meeting hall at UCLA's Covel Commons soon after the meeting began this morning.  A presentation on the budget and fee increase proposal by UC President Mark Yudof was interrupted.  Police cleared the public from the hall but a group of protesters refused to leave, standing and singing “We Shall Overcome.” 

They were escorted out and handcuffed and police said they would be cited for misdemeanor unlawful assembly. It was not clear whether they were students.

Outside the hall, meanwhile, an estimated 300 students and union activists faced off against a large contingent of UC police in riot gear and carrying non-lethal weapons.  At one point, bottles were thrown and police pushed the crowd away from the front door.  There were no reports of serious injuries or additional arrests beyond the 14 people arrested inside.

-- Larry Gordon at UCLA

Photo: UCLA students, from left, Frances Clark, 20, a history major, and Amanda Bahamonde, 20, a biology student, protest student fee hikes today at UCLA. Credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times.

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Comments () | Archives (67)

less than a 20 hour work week + upwards of a 100k in salary + summer and winter vacation = professor... to them, students represent nothing more than a cushy paycheck.

This is unfortunate, but completely necessary

Remember what Jesus said, "Money is more important than learning!"

Tell me why time allotted for public comments at the Regents meeting today was cut short. Tell me why the UC Regents are allowing student fees to increase and the students' voices and opinions are not given full and equitable consideration. Tell me why the Regents have never made themselves available to talk to students outside of their meeting spaces. Tell me, UC Regents, when was the last time you were a college student. UC Regents, tell me how I am supposed to afford my education and not even be able to take the classes that I need to graduate because there's no money to fund it. Tell me how a fee increase is going to HELP me when everything I NEED from the UNIVERSITY is being CUT.

this is ridiculous. ten years ago when i was a UC student, fees were $5,000 a year. so now, fees are doubling and students are getting a lesser product because lecturers are being laid off and class sizes are bigger.

we're sacrificing our future for what--incarcerating non-violent drug users and non-violent prostitutes? to feed the prison-industrial complex?

hey maybe we should legalize, regulate, and TAX all of the marijuana farmacies that have sprung up in LA. how bout that. or tax soda. or tax corn syrup. there. i just solved all of our problems.

i'll be here all week.

Business as usual. Students and their families pay for the facilities and then they are not permitted to speak in them as the the UC Regents claims it is their property and the defenders of the upper class quell freedom of speech yet again. Today and tomorrow mark yet another sad defeat for public education not only for the UC system but California and the country as a collective.

We should cut welfare before we increase these fees. University graduates actually produce something useful for our economy. Welfare doesn't.

what is the purpose of making higher education so far out of reach for our future generations?!? is it one of those maneuvers where the UC Regents think that because higher education is a MUST that people will have no choice but to pay?!? is it one of those moves to completely clear minorities out of their system?

there are people out there who receive NO aid to pay for their kids' education-- kids that already excelled enough to make it into a UC school-- hard working people who stay up at night wondering what else in life they could cut in order to keep their kids at these school and then, ESPECIALLY at UCLA, you have useless trust fund babies that attend UC schools because their parents can throw money at the Alumni Assocs. and the Regents-- and are only taking up space!

Boytcott the UC system-- they have become too greedy in the face of people wanting a better education for their children-- shame on them!

The Governor claims that he will not raise new taxes to balance the budget. If this is true, then, what do you call fee increases to students? What do you call 10% salary cuts to college professors? Make no mistakes, we are being taxed. The question is who is and who is not being taxed. How is the burden shared? Education is a public good. California benefits from an educated workforce, from professionals in different fields. It is in a state’s best interest to invest in education and to support public higher education. This is the case of sates such as Texas, a Republican state, where taxes from oil extraction are used exclusively for public higher education. Moreover, countries which are the competition to the US (e.g. India, China, EU, Japan, etc.) are investing heavily in public education while we (the USA) are not making those investments. If this continues there will not be an educated workforce or a future for this country.

It is time for the Governor to develop a strategic plan to lead this state out of the economic problems. It is necessary to realize what areas need to be cut but what areas such as education, health or safety cannot be cut further without gravely damaging the state’s future. Across the board cuts to all state agencies are the easy approach, one that allows the Governor not to make the tough decisions.

Today, we witness a fully merged corporate state. The government is openly an executive committee and armed weapon of the rich.
These are not democracy's schools. They are capitalist schools.
Schools in capitalist America were never the Public’s schools. Rather, those schools have always been segregated by class and race. Really, there are perhaps five or six discrete tax-funded school systems in the US ranging from some in Detroit preparing kids for prisons, some in Compton as pre-Walmart academies, some in Chicago as social worker prep, others in Lajolla readying youth for law and medicine, and some seeking to feed children to the military. Ruling class kids, like those of the Bush family or the Obama’s, go to privates.
The capitalist government's project in capital's schools is:
1) regimented curricula promoting nationalism,
2) racist and anti-working class high stakes exams to limit knowledge and divide people using a false form of science,
3) the logical next step from high stakes exams to merit pay (attacking some of the last people in the US with predictable wages and health benefits),
4) militarization in some areas,
5) national service to syphon off middle class opposition to a potential draft,
6) some privatization (but not only privatization),
7) and the relentless promotion of fear in order to create useful, dutiful, obedient people willing to make war on other poor people in defense of the rich in their homelands.
All of these elements reflect the dual role of capitalist schooling as important markets for profiteering, sometimes contradicted by the real need for social control. At other times those factors meld into one.
The education agenda is a war agenda. It's a class war agenda.
Rather than “Defend Public Education,” we should “Rescue Education from the Ruling Class,” or “Defend Education for the Public.”
The core issue of our times is the reality of the promise of perpetual war coupled with booming color-coded inequality met by the potential of mass class-conscious resistance. Our project should aim at connecting reason, radical analysis, to power rooted in our own ability to take collective action.

Well, how's that "Hope and Change" thing working for you, Bruins?

In 1979, I approached Chancellor Charles Young and Registrar William Locklear with a solution. Deep under Lot 32, lies a pool of oil that if tapped, would bring a boatload of revenue into UCLA. The idea was rejected, for two reasons.
1. Parking.
2. The property is owned by the University of California.

My response was:
1. Buy new parking areas with the revenue.
2. 50% of the proceeds to UCLA and the balance towards the other UC Campuses.

That was the last I ever heard from them. Back in '79-80, the cost of "Registration Fees" was a mere $234 a quarter, not including parking, books, materials or lab fees. Todays proposed increases translates into a 1605% increase since 1980 or an average of 53.5% annual increase. (Note: I wish my wages and worth went up that fast!!!)

Today, the argument is "Green" for the environment and not "Green" for money.

Also, since the loosening-up of lending standards and caps for Sallie-Mae and Pell Grants, fewer are paying CASH or working their way through school, like I and a slew of others did, when I attended (and slaved my way through) UCLA. Econ 101 folks- It's called supply and demand.

Students want lower rates? Drill, Baby, Drill. It is the only way, unless new patents are developed, that UCLA is ever going to generate revenue to offset the costs of education and build-up a dividend generating investment trust fund, for students and their education.

Back in the day, UCLA use to have a slew of Department of Defense contracts. No more. Since the Jerry Brown era of "Less is More," these contracts have dried-up. Once upon a time, where there was a squash court, there was once a nuclear reactor on campus. No more.

If the governor or the new governor-elect was to call me to come in as an advisor, I'd seriously consider the position. I might not bee too popular, becuase I would recommend that we also focus and give emphasis on core majors that will give students an opportunity to succeed in the "outside world" while streamlining or consolidating other majors, that have "feel good" value, until we have te budget under control.

Ultimately, students will have to make a choice. Is it going to be "Green" in your pocket or "Green" in the environment?

"Hope and Change" is nothing more than an advertising or "Buzz-word" term that sounds good, but produces ZIP!!!

Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger few weeks ago signed a multimillion bill for building a new fancy giant football stadium in LA. In the same time he cuts the budget for health care and education. The UC budget shortage comes from the state budget cuts. Now kids have to pay full cost of education since the state does not pay it's part anymore. Where is the real problem? Where our taxes are going - to a new football stadiums instead for health and education.

These tuition fees are insane. This is what happens when the government runs something with no cost containment. We are in the middle of a recession, and they are raising fees by 32%. Unbelievable. This is just another example of California government (and yes, I place public colleges in the category of governement) which is out of control, and insensitive to the public. They are no longer working for the public good, but only for themselves. I'm sure they have big fat pay raises and pension payouts included in these fee hikes.

Shame on you California legislature, you mismanage money and we pay.

Sit on tomorrow, NO RETREAT LIKE TODAY!!!!

"There's only one way to have a public university, and that's to have a public university." - Anon.

http://www.ucstrike.com/

I can't help but notice the protesters in the photo all look black, latino or....NO FREE LUNCH

Not only are the tuition hikes a major problem with higher education, the fact of the matter a lot of people who study a B.A. or B.S. are studying fields that do not train for a profession. Instead, students are majoring in psychology or anthropology which with a bachelor's degree they cannot do anything. In fact, I know people *with* these degrees who are working at Starbucks, shoe stores, and gyms (you didn't need to blow $100,000 to work at those places). If you ask a lot of high school students what they want to study, they either say "I have no clue -- I'm going to university because everyone else is going and it's the thing to do". For the "no clue" students, the current system we have is an expensive way to get a degree that has no use in society. HOWEVER, there ARE students who know exactly what they want to do and become doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, nurses, dentists, etc.

My suggestion to the state of California and the UC system is to revamp the system. In other countries like UK, if a student from high school wants to become a doctor or a lawyer, they DIRECTLY go into the program and earn a terminal degree (M.D., LLB [bachelor of law letters], etc.). We have decided that we would prolong this and force students to blow $80,000~$100,000 on the undergraduate education and then another $80,000~$100,000 on professional/graduate school. If US universities including the UC system adopts this policy, then students would save potentially up to $100,000 by being able to consolidate the education.

Furthermore, why is that primary and secondary school is completely free (with tax dollars) and our public universities have become exactly like private universities? You have to PAY a chunk load of money.

In conclusion, to save students the debt load of borrowing, we should adopt a system that consolidates undergraduate and professional education so that students can save money.

ucb, professors certainly do not make anywhere near that amount. they are suffering as we are with the pay cuts and furlough days. plus, being in academia isn't just a walk in the park - it's a year-round job involving research, formulating curriculum, and attending conferences. the professors i've talked to are hard-working individuals who care about their students, so please refrain from generalizations.

Like other reports in the local press this afternoon, this article doesn't provide any information as to who the UC regents are.

Because the UC Regents hold public positions, even if they are appointed, I feel it would be appropriate, and very helpful for the public, for you to name the members of this panel, describe their backgrounds and qualifications for the positions they hold, and provide any available information as to their educational philosophies or business and financial interests.

I would like more information about the qualifications which the members of the Regents' finance panel have on this matter, beyond their appointment to the Board of Regents. How are they selected for this panel? What track record do they bring to it? How are decisions made, that is, on exactly what basis did they take this action? What alternatives were considered and rejected, and why?

I'd also like to learn more about the qualifications each member brings to the Board of Regents generally, and how each Regent's educational philosophies or business interests align with the decisions the Board enacts.

Every report I have read on this action refers to the Regents anonymously, without providing substantive reporting on the decision taken, all the while making claims that are sure to be disputed about who was throwing what at whom! These representations of this process are themselves unfortunate symptoms of the lack of transparency and accountability that bedevils California's decision making processes generally.

I hope that your continued reporting on this topic will work to clarify how and why these fee increases are being enacted, by whom, and what alternatives were considered and rejected. It's unlikely that "there is no alternative," and surely in order to make one decision, other possible decisions were considered and rejected. And if there were no other alternatives, why not?

In order to know what actually is happening in these cases, we need the Times to provide the public with as complete an account as possible!

Thank you.

Bravo. I hope California goes down the drain.

As a proud UCLA Graduate from over a decade ago, I an delighted with my education and experience -- but I also know that my tuition was the deal of the century. I agree that it would be great if our State and Country could provide a free education for everyone all the way to the top -- but that is not reality.

Everyone is hurting in this economy. With my decade old UCLA degree I am earning a mere fraction of what I was making just a few years back. Why is it that one particular segment of our society should be immune? It is not that I am unsympathetic, but we must all expect to share in a bit of the pain.

And I watched the BRUIN Live Feed of the Regents meeting today -- and I was disgusted at the profanities spewed forth by some of the students attending. Yes, it is a passionate issue, but you must show respect if you expect respect in return. The sense of entitlement from one particularly filthy-mouthed woman was heartbreaking. She should be sent to India and compete there where only the best of the best of the best (i.e., the top 1-2%) even get to attend university.

We are blessed in this country and these kids need to wake-up and get a education in how the real world works. Or perhaps that is exactly what they are getting now.

Fees and tuition are going up because the Regents have now tied bond ratings to tuition and fees. This wasn't the case 2 years ago. Now in order to give a promised return on construction and building bonds, they have guaranteed that they will raise student fees to insure the low interest rate.

Yudof is the Cheney of education. Remember when Bush became "The decider"? Remember who benefited from the Bush admin's mess? Well you are looking at the same coup/power play in Mini-me version.

Also, for the record, I'm a mere instructor at UC, but I can assure you that all the professors I know work 12 hour days and don't see students as a cushy anything. In fact, with the K-12 education in this State, Instructors and Profs spend half their time correcting grammar mistakes that should have been dealt with in 8th grade.

Also, California Taxpayers have spent upwards of 80 Billion dollars in Iraq, so it is pretty petty to complain that someone who educates your kids gets 80 thousand a year before taxes.

To UCB: don't know who you are referring to but as an employee at UCLA for over 25 years (as well as an alum class of '83), I have worked in academic departments and have never known a faculty member who did not put in more time than the staff who worked with them. The vacations you mention are normally unpaid time that they do research. The only thing they aren't required to do during this time is have office hours or be in residence. Get your facts straight. Also, $11,287 in fees works out to be $940/month. Is that such a high price for an education from some of the best and brightest academic minds in their fields, access to outstanding research facilties, libraries, etc at one of the best public universities in the country if not the world? Get real people.

This is not the only option we have of making up for budget deficits. This is just the option that doesn't effect them. You can keep squeezing education, and squeezing students, but when you do, you squeeze the middle class. Education is the last place you want a have and have not system because it is the last great equalizer among the classes. If we don't stop on the path we're on now, all I can see is class warfare. Hold our politicians accountable. The governor of CA APPOINTS the UC regents. The students have NO SAY. Remember this in November.

 
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