Friday, November 19, 1999
Brad Hayward (510) 987-9195



The University of California Board of Regents today (Nov. 19) adopted a 2000-01 budget plan that aims to provide educational opportunity for 6,000 new "Tidal Wave II" students, strengthen undergraduate education, boost faculty and staff salaries to help maintain quality programs, and invest in core needs such as instructional technology and building maintenance.

The plan also includes initiatives to enhance UC’s student outreach and K-12 academic improvement programs and to fund research in several areas important to the state’s economy.

"This is a plan to sustain excellence in the university’s teaching, research and public service programs," said UC President Richard C. Atkinson. "It is a budget that keeps our doors open to all UC-eligible high school graduates in California, invests in quality educational programs for them and reaches out to the students in our public schools."

The budget plan serves as UC’s annual funding request to the governor and Legislature. Final university spending decisions for the 2000-01 fiscal year will be made after the governor and Legislature complete the state budget process next year.

UC’s state-funded budget would rise 6.7 percent to $2.9 billion under the budget plan. When UC general funds and student fee income are included, the university’s basic budget increase would be 7 percent, or $253 million.

The budget requests funding for an enrollment increase of 4 percent, or 6,000 students, in 2000-01. These are some of the 63,000 additional students UC expects to enroll by 2010 as the children of the Baby Boomers – often referred to as "Tidal Wave II" – reach college age and seek admission to the university. UC is pursuing a range of strategies for accommodating this 43 percent enrollment increase while continuing to provide high-quality educational programs.

In its 2000-01 budget proposal, in fact, UC is seeking $6 million in new funding to strengthen the quality of undergraduate education. Campuses could use the funding to reduce class sizes, offer additional lower-division seminars, provide more undergraduate research opportunities, and offer more academic advising, among other things. UC’s goal is to expand this effort annually and eventually devote $50 million per year to it.

The budget plan assumes that funding equivalent to a 4.5 percent increase in mandatory systemwide student fees will be available, and that one-third of the increase will be devoted to financial aid. Mandatory systemwide student fees would not be increased, however, if the state provides equivalent funding. The state has provided that funding in each of the last five years and also has provided funds in the last two years to reduce fees 10 percent for resident undergraduates and 5 percent for resident graduate academic students.

The plan requests funding for an average 2 percent salary increase for eligible UC employees, along with funding for regular merit increases and an 8 percent increase in employee health benefit costs. Funding also is requested to keep faculty salaries competitive with those of UC’s comparison institutions and to continue to provide market-based parity adjustments to cooperative extension specialists and information technology employees. Distribution of salary increases varies by compensation program and is subject to collective bargaining requirements.

UC’s budget plan also boosts funding for building maintenance, instructional technology, instructional equipment and libraries – areas suffering from chronic budget shortfalls.

Funding for UC’s student outreach and K-12 academic improvement programs has expanded dramatically in recent years, and the 2000-01 budget would continue approximately $180 million in funding from all sources for these efforts. If state resources are available, UC will propose a $6 million augmentation, focusing on increasing community college transfers to UC, encouraging more students from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds to enroll in graduate and professional school, providing professional development to teachers of algebra, and expanding research into the challenges of access to higher education.

Other UC-proposed initiatives beyond the basic budget plan include development of an off-campus center to serve students in the Santa Clara Valley; several research initiatives in areas of high priority for the state, including engineering and computer science, environmental science, and collaborative research with Mexican scholars on U.S.-Mexico issues; and expansion of the California Digital Library, Cooperative Extension programs and access to Internet2, the next-generation, high-speed electronic highway.

A separate capital improvements budget adopted by the board includes $213 million for construction, renovation and seismic-renewal projects at UC. The plan includes $14.3 million for initial site development and infrastructure at UC Merced, along with preliminary planning of the first two academic buildings there. The new campus is slated to open in 2005.

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