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University leaders add support for Jerry Brown's tax plan

April 5, 2011 |  4:39 pm

Leaders of the state’s higher education systems have lent their support to Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to extend billions in taxes to balance the state’s books.

The University of California and California State University systems each lost $500 million through legislation passed last month. Community college fees increased $10 per unit. But administrators fear more severe cuts ahead if Brown’s tax plan is not enacted.

The leaders of the three higher education systems met with Brown in the governor’s office Tuesday before speaking to reporters.

If taxes are not extended, university “enrollments will decline, we’ll turn tens of thousands of students away,” said CSU Chancellor Charles Reed. “We’ll have to raise tuition more.”

UC President Mark Yudof praised Brown for “doing a terrific job of trying to bring all these loose ends together and have a plan to move forward.”

Brown called the universities “an engine of wealth creation."

"Stripping it of its professors, of its research, in a way an all-cuts budget would require is unacceptable,” he said.

Brown reiterated that in the weeks ahead he will go “around this state to mobilize support” for income, sales and vehicle taxes to offset deeper cuts.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento