L.A. NOW

Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

UC regents approve fee hike amid loud student protests [Updated]

Me_ktdgrpnc

Amid loud student protests that roiled the UCLA campus, the UC Board of Regents this afternoon approved a 32% increase in student fees.

The fee hike of $2,500, or 32%, will come in two steps by next fall. That would bring the basic UC education fees to about $10,300, plus about another $1,000 for campus-based charges, for a total that would be about triple the UC cost a decade ago. Room, board and books can add another $16,000.

Only student regent Jesse Bernal voted against the undergraduate fees.

The noise of protesters came through the window as the regents voted. It was only lightly discussed, with UC President Mark G. Yudof urging that students explore all the financial-aid possibilities so they don’t get scared away or drop out.

Groups of UC students from several other campuses arrived in Westwood to join a demonstration against the fee hike, and a group of protesters was occupying a UCLA classroom building.

UCLA officials declared Campbell Hall, where the sit-in continued, closed for the day. Inside, about 40 to 50 students who had chained the doors shut shortly after midnight were issuing e-mail statements.

“We choose to fight back, to resist, where we find ourselves, the place where we live and work, our university,” their statement said. Campus police surrounded the classroom building, but no arrests were made.

Meanwhile, across campus, a crowd of several hundred gathered outside Covel Commons, where the regents were meeting.  Students and UC employees chanted such slogans as “Whose university? Our university!”

Among them was Tommy Le, a fourth-year student at UC Santa Cruz, who left his campus at 3 a.m. today in a convoy of two buses headed south. Le, 21, an American studies major from El Monte, said he was worried about how he being able to afford the higher charges, starting with an additional $585 for the rest of the school year.

“It’s adding more stress and more burden,” said Le, who said he works two part-time jobs and sends money home to help his family. The fee increase, he said, would be “a lose-lose situation.”

[Updated at 1:33 p.m.: As news spread that the regents had approved the increase, hundreds of student protesters gathered in the courtyard outside the building and yelled, “Shame on you! Shame on you!”

After the vote, Jasmine Guerrero, a freshman at UC Santa Barbara, said she feared she would have to drop out of school.

“I can’t afford it,” said Guerrero, who wore a red bandanna across her face. “They (the regents) don’t care. They’re laughing at us.”

Gaby Arita, a senior at UCLA, said she recently lost a $4,000 grant to pay for her final quarter of school and is worried about finding the money to graduate. She said she is working two jobs to pay for her education.

“I’m on my own,” she said. “I can’t ask my family. In this economy, no one is stable.”

Mark Villela, a junior at UCLA, also said he would probably have to drop out of school and attend community college in his hometown of Palmdale.]

-- Larry Gordon and Amina Khan in Westwood

More photos > > >

Audio: Statement from demonstrators

Audio: Charles Alexande, UCLA Vice Provost for Student Diversity and Director of Academic Advancement Program

Photo: Elliot Goldstein, right, of Berkeley protests for the "future of education" as UC police officers watch the crowd during a regents meeting at UCLA.  Credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (193)

As a UCLA alumnus I think this is a sad day for the UC system and for the state of California. I understand the Regents decision from the business side of things as I am now a professor at a state university that is also facing severe budget cuts. California was once the shining example of free higher education for all who qualified for entry. Unfortunately, economics has made that impossible today. The state needs to seriously consider alternative sources of funding a self-sustaining world class university system. Failure to do so will have consequences for the state far worse than the economic ones it now faces. Take a look to your east and the southern states of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. That is the future of CA without a vibrant and affordable system of higher education.

Most of Europe provides free of charge higher education for qualified students. There is no reason apart from a lack of political will that America cannot do the same. Our children, our nation, and the world would be better off if we emulated Europe for a change instead of always denigrating it.

The real challenge in all of this is a political one. UC students need allies, and we alums have to do our part.

There are perhaps tens of thousands of UC alumni across California -- maybe more. These alumni are currently only engaged by university communities for fundraising and social activities. After graduation, we disappear into our post-college pursuits. Our lobbying clout remains untapped.

If even 5% of the UC system's alumni population were successfully channeled towards political advocacy, the state legislature would be less likely to cut UC funding so frequently. UC alumni are a politically and socially networked bunch, and many are financially successful community leaders.

Unfortunately, alumni aren't currently being organized in any substantive way that I can see. Current students generally do not have the time or resources to engage alumni. Alumni associations focus on fundraising and social networking. University administrators do the same, and it wouldn't be appropriate for state employees to do more. Basic political advocacy is missing in all of this.

I have fond memories of my undergraduate years at UC Berkeley, including efforts through student activism to push back against fee hikes. Now it has become clear to me that "giving back" requires making a political contribution as well. UC alumni must come together in an organized capacity to work with campus-based advocates for secure higher education funding.

To the extent that UC alumni would be interested in building such an effort, I am an experienced political advocate and would be happy to help facilitate a structured, constructive dialogue. Feel free to find me online, whether on Facebook or elsewhere. It is time for us alums to do our part.

Personal attacks...talking about jails instead of public universities...confusing the issues is not helping things. Lets return to Adam Smith and let the invisible hand of the market decide who gets an education and how much they have to pay for it. That is what true democratic liberalism is - everyone has access to the market but not necessarily the end results that come from pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and making something of yourself. So you might have to work two jobs in college and study all night instead of joining that sorority or literary club. God forbid anybody should have to work hard to make it. College students think their schools should be like little mini-resorts these days-full service gyms, deluxe cafeterias, spring semesters abroad in Europe, Asia etc, built out and decorated dorms, libraries and lecture halls. Times are tough out there - go try to get a job right now. I think the people that succeed in these times should be equally tough - the survivors of the global financial crunch. It's only natural that some people should fall off and not be able to participate because of the extreme personal sacrifice required.

I am a currents UCSD student and hoping to graduate in a year or two. I personally don't understand this massive fee increase when at the same time, i see UC schools being lavished with more buildings and other unnecessary pretty premises. I think everyone would agree with me that we are here to study- to learn.. not all of us have easy access to money. most of us have to work 1-2 jobs just to be able to pay for school. I am a low-income student who is just currently relying on student loans and any little money my parents give me from time to time if they have extra.

In this current economic situation, i seriously don't think that this fee increase is anymore necessary... just another HUGE BURDEN to everyone especially poor students like me.

Supporting UC is expensive....to say nothing of the bureaucrats et.al. in our Statewide 'bureaucrazy.' And, tell us again, LATimes, how many cars and SUVs, along with the FREE taxpayer-funded credit card (for starbux, porn, personal expenses NOT held liable for) does Sacramento, LA County and the CITY of LA have in the hands of ALL these tireless, hardworking, selfless govt 'workers.???? IF, a serious audit was done, how many useless staff COULD LOSE the jobs for fraud, theft, misappropriation, dereliction...need we go on? How about COMPARING govt 'workers' per unit of GDP, AND how many vehicles now in use (or sold at GREAT discounts in past 6 months); using 1998 and 2008 as the basis???? See how they squander tens of billions? Now it's YOUR TURN to pay, and pay, and pay, and....

I couldn't agree more with these students' frustration, but they are protesting against the wrong people. They should go home and protest against their parents who fail to realize (and vote accordingly) that top educational institutions cost money and that expenditure (like many others) is essential to our future. The state can't afford it if the voters hate taxes so much they will "chop of their future to spite their presence", yet somehow people think because they hear of a few instances of government waste that we can just keep cutting expense infinitely. We are the government and we need to start voting for our future. It is time to protest for that, not blame the messengers. Blame the decision makers - the voters and their conservative politicians who won't act for our future.

Shame and humiliation is what is to come.

Hey, at least Lloyd Blankfein and the boys at Government Sachs got their bonuses this year, and they don't have to fret all those pesky taxes. Dontcha feel glad?

For Xavier:

From the University of California bylaws:

"BYLAW 8. Special Provisions Relating to Regents
8.1 Compensation of Regents.
No Regent shall receive salary or other compensation for services as
a Regent nor shall any Regent other than the President of the
University be eligible for appointment to any position in connection
with the University for which a salary or other compensation is paid,
provided, however, that the student Regent shall not be deemed
ineligible for part-time compensated University employment. A Regent
may be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred by reason of attendance
at any meeting of the Board or a Committee thereof or in the
performance of other official business of the Corporation. Members of
the Board of Regents serving as representatives of The Regents of the
University of California to the California Postsecondary Education
Commission may receive stipends as provided by law for attending
meetings of the Commission or of its committees or subcommittees."
http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/bylaws/bl8.html

The regents all have day jobs from which they derive their salaries. It is not from the state.

where are my comments , you journalistic putz.

If a student needs money for their tuition, now is a great time to get into the marijuana business.

Here's a way to help pay for school...Join the military! In return for service, these students can earn student loan repayment, the new GI Bill, free classes through programs such as E-Army U, gain tons of experience and leadership traits, oh and you are giving back to the system that you take from (i.e. Federal Grants, etc) by serving.
I didn't have money to pay for my college education and the Army helped me get my Associates, Bachelors, and MBA.
Maybe the tuition increase is a good thing....Lets face it, the less students earning degrees, makes those that have one more valuable...supply and demand people.
Bottom line, if your education is that important to you, find a way to earn it. Maybe it takes you a few extra semesters/years...

This topic could certainly use better reporting by the LA Times.
What is the UC system annual cost to educate a student vs. the tuition charged in state and out of state students?
What is the tuition at major UC competitors such as Harvard, USC, Stanford, University of Chicago, etc?
What do other state's top tier public universities charge for in state and out of state tuition?
I think the answers to these questions will show that the UC system is a bargain. Maybe some of these UC students should be going to the CSU system and then send their children to the UC system when they can afford to contribute to their children's education costs.

An interesting thread in these comments and similar ones in response to a NY Times article today is that many UC graduates bemoan the increase of fees. Interestingly the majority of the UC graduates in the NY Times comments seemed to live outside of California and contribute zero in taxes to support the system that gave them their start. (The NY Times requires commenters to state their location, the LA Times doesn't) One has to wonder how much and how frequently the UC alumni contribute to their alma maters. My personal anecdotal data indicates that my personal friends and business associates from private schools contribute regularly while the public school graduates contribute rarely and wonder why I think they should contribute.

Fees hike is a blow for students. They should introduce some sort of financial aid for bright students so that bright ones are retained in UC system. Check the salaries of UC academic staff. The average of all Profs is around 200 K, Asst prof is 120 K, Postdocs 38K and TAs make only 18K. This is much less than what a coach, VC or admin people make.

Fees hike is a blow for students. They should introduce some sort of financial aid for bright students so that bright ones are retained in UC system. Check the salaries of UC academic staff. The average of all Profs is around 200 K, Asst prof is 120 K, Postdocs 38K and TAs make only 18K. This is much less than what a coach, VC or admin people make.

Why do these students always dress like Palestinians during their protests? #fail

As a UCLA Student, this strand of thought that somehow we should "work harder" or that we are somehow "spoiled brats" is not only erroneous it's disgusting.

With regards to the point that we should somehow work harder, I think the fact that I got into UCLA is a testament of my hard work. We aren't radicals or liberals, we're students competing in one of the most academically rigorous institutions in the world. The University of California is not only the envy of other states but of other countries. Look at any international ranking of universities, take for example Shanghai University's Academic of World Universities, 4 of the top 20 universities are UC's (UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, UCSF). These really are world class institutions, full of top faculty, students and researchers. The University of California has more Noble Prize winners than any other university. Do you know how difficult it is to get into these schools? Take a look at admission statistics, more students apply to UCLA than any other university in the country. I don't think anyone has the right to question the work ethic of my peers and I. It's remarkable how little respect people on this forum have for this real gem our state has developed over the last century- the University of California.

Neither I nor my peers are asking for a "free education," we're merely asking for the same opportunities our parents and grandparents had. To attend a top institution at an affordable price. How that makes us "spoiled" is beyond me. Tuition increases have exceeded inflation exponentially; it's simply harder to be a student today than ever before. Admissions are more competitive than ever and on top of that students have a financial burden that far exceeds what their parents and grandparents held.

I would agree that protesting a meeting of the Regents is misguided, we should be directing our energy at Sacramento.

Quite thankfully my parents pay for my education and fortunately will be able to afford the hike. Nonetheless, it really saddens me that people fail to respect the University of California and the caliber of its students, faculty, and staff.

Oh sure, everyone will complain about the crooked politicians but yet, you all keep voting them back in.

Going to college is not a god given right! Since there are an above average number of anchor babies coming of age we the taxpayer (numbers dropping) only have so much to give to the state. If we only let prosperous aliens immigrate we wouldn't have a funding problem. California has too many poor people wanting a handout. Time to lockdown the borders! You whiney Californians still get a great deal on education compared to the rest of the USA. Check the fees for yourself just like you check the salaries of the Administration! You will see the err of your ways!

I don't know why you guys even need and education, all you'll be allowed to do is garden organically and vote for obama every four years...that is, if you want to continue to receive your government check. The American dream has a price now, and that price is your freedom and your pursuit of happiness. Enjoy - most of you students voted for the obama, so suck it up sissy-marys and open your wallets.

Where does this sense of entitlement come from? Money does not grow on trees. The gov't gets it's revenue from taxes. Tax the rich, tax the rich. Who are these fictitious people that make over 150k? I don't know anyone who makes even half that much. The state is bankrupt because it has been subsidizing programs like higher education, WIC etc. The tax payers have been getting the short end of the stick for far too long. I don't have any children in school so why should my tax dollars support subsidized education? California has been driving business and residents out of the state for many years and lost tons of revenue. If I can't pay my bills I have to sacrifice somewhere and stop spending money. It is preposterous for me to expect my neighbor to cary my bills. By the way, What has Obama done for you lately?

Just be completely honest. Thank you illegal immigrants and first generation for sucking the life blood out of California. Work under the table, avoid taxes, collect welfare and WIC etc. Have lots of kids and burden the schools while still not paying taxes, live off the taxpayer, the list goes on, and on, and on. Thank you illegals.

DEY TOOK OUR JOBSS


The reality is that UC university professors are over-paid. This idea that the UC system is going to lose its faculty is also an absolute joke. The reality is that most of the UC Faculty, including most of the good ones, are trapped by their own career decisions.

These faculty are sitting on LIFETIME job guarantees that other universities are simply not going to match, except in very rare cases. This is the reason why most university faculty retire in the same department in which they originally got tenure, even in good times.

I say, let's reduce the salaries of the UC faculty, and then let's see how many of these great minds can really get another job. If there's a mass exodus, then California should increase the salaries, and presumably they will come back (if they left for the money, they will come back for the money).

I promise you, the results will be hilarious to watch. If salaries are slashed, a handful of faculty will leave, and 99% of these people will sit tight, trapped like rats at the faculty club, complaining about the students and the taxpayers, who "just don't get it."



The reality is that UC university professors are over-paid. This idea that the UC system is going to lose its faculty is also an absolute joke. The reality is that most of the UC Faculty, including most of the good ones, are trapped by their own career decisions.

These faculty are sitting on LIFETIME job guarantees that other universities are simply not going to match, except in very rare cases. This is the reason why most university faculty retire in the same department in which they originally got tenure, even in good times.

I say, let's reduce the salaries of the UC faculty, and then let's see how many of these great minds can really get another job. If there's a mass exodus, then California should increase the salaries, and presumably they will come back (if they left for the money, they will come back for the money).

I promise you, the results will be hilarious to watch. If salaries are slashed, a handful of faculty will leave, and 99% of these people will sit tight, trapped like rats at the faculty club, complaining about the students and the taxpayers, who "just don't get it."


 
« | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 | »

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.

Categories




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: