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UC leaders call for no tuition hike unless tax measure fails

University of California President Mark Yudof in 2010.

University of California students had cause Wednesday for at least temporary celebration: UC administrators said they would not seek an immediate tuition hike as a result of the state budget deal reached in Sacramento.

The UC regents are scheduled to meet in mid-July and previously had been expected to move on a plan to raise tuition by 6%, or $732 more a year, that would have brought in-state undergraduate tution to $12,924, not including other campus fees, room and board.

However, the state Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown are putting both pressure and a financial sweetener in the budget to avoid tuition hikes if voters approve a tax increase measure in November. As a result, UC President Mark G. Yudof has decided not to ask the regents next month for any tuition hike, according to UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein.

“We will not recommend a tuition increase. We will recommend we take the deal,” Klein said, noting that the UC regents will have final say on administrators’ proposals.

“This is workable, this is doable,” Klein said of the budget plan, which would give the UC and Cal State systems each an extra $125 milion next summer if they keep tuition stable. But she also said the plan “is not perfect, it’s a gamble.”

If voters in November reject Brown’s ballot measure to raise some taxes, UC students could face “double digit” percentage tuition increases, Klein said. If the tax measure fails, UC would not only lose that $125 million but would also see a further $250 million cut in state revenues, according to the budget plans.

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-- Larry Gordon

Photo: University of California President Mark Yudof in 2010. Credit: Los Angeles Times

 
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