Wilson's Budget Proposal

Gov. Pete Wilson has proposed an 8 percent state budget increase for UC in 1998-99, including funds to cover a 5 percent reduction in fees for undergraduates who are California residents.

The governor's plan calls for an increase of $175 million in state general funds for UC or a total $2.3 billion for next year.

The budget plan would restore faculty salaries to competitive levels, restore a $9.5 million undesignated cut from the university's 1997-98 state budget and provide revenue that eliminates the need for a 10 percent increase in student fees.

Moreover, the budget plan provides $22.5 million allowing for a 5 percent cut in fees for undergraduate California residents. The fee cut was called for by Assembly Bill 1318, approved by the state Legislature and signed by the governor.

The 5 percent fee cut will reduce undergraduate student fees by $190 a year to $4,022. The UC Regents are expected to approve the fee reduction at their Jan. 15-16 meeting in San Francisco.

Because state funding offsets a loss in fee revenue, the university's actual spending increase would be 5.5 percent, not the 8 percent increase in state funding.

The governor's budget plan also provides an additional:

  • $5 million for student outreach and school improvement programs, which will help fund new efforts to attract more students from diverse backgrounds by improving student achievement.
  • $14.6 million to enroll 2,000 more students and an additional $6 million targeted for 800 undergraduate students in engineering and computer and information science programs. The engineering and computer information science funding is a new initiative to help meet the growing demand for a highly trained workforce, particularly to fill the need in technology-based industries. (Even with this funding, there will be 3,200 students UC already enrolls who will not be funded by the state.)
  • $7 million for the Industry-University Cooperative Research Program, which promotes research partnerships between UC and private indus-try, bringing total state funding for this program to $12 million next year. These partnerships focus on research in areas critical to the state's economy.
  • $5 million to support academic programs and planning for UC's proposed 10th campus. This would bring the total funding for the proposed Merced campus to $10 million.
  • $4 million for instructional technology to provide students access to state-of-the-art technology.
  • $3.4 million for other projects such as the International Thermonuclear Reactor project and funding for UC students to work in K-12 schools.
  • $3 million for the California Digital Library, which over time will provide Californians access to all UC's lib-raries. The initial emphasis will be the information needs of UC students.
  • $1 million to develop courses for the California Virtual University, which will provide students online access to courses from potentially more than 200 accredited universities.
  • $6 million for building maintenance.
  • $6 million to pay for long-term financing of up to $50 million for deferred maintenance projects.

The governor's plan calls for a $12 million funding reduction for the California Subject Matter Projects, a statewide teacher training program. The program provides professional development for K-12 teachers in nine subjects including arts, mathematics, science and writing. The university is seeking clarification of that funding cut.

Before 1996-97, the Subject Matter Projects were supported by Proposition 98 money in the state Department of Education budget. Two years ago, the funding for these programs was transferred to the state general fund and provided through the university's budget.

If the $12 million were not cut from UC's budget, the university's state funding would increase by 8.6 percent, under the governor's plan.

For capital improvements, the governor's budget plan provides $151 million for projects on UC's nine campuses. This funding depends on voter approval of a bond measure later this year. The governor has proposed placing on the ballot a $1 billion bond measure for public higher education that would be shared by the UC, California State University and California Community Colleges.

The proposed bond measure, however, does not resolve the university's long-term capital needs associated with projected enrollment growth.

Wilson's budget proposal will be discussed by the state legislature throughout the winter and spring, and a final, negotiated budget will be passed during the summer.


Copyright 1998, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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