budget provides increase for UC
budget provides increase for UC
By Laura Capps,
On Friday, June 30, the University of California fared well by the governor's pen.
The budget that Gray Davis signed increased UC's state funding to $3.2 billion -- an increase of $486 million -- and funded student enrollment growth, an increase in employee compensation, the creation of Institutes for Science and Innovation, and an expansion of K-12 outreach efforts.
While the Senate was generally approving of the governor's original funding levels for UC, the Assembly attempted to strip away funding for many of the programs that Davis promoted. In the budget conference committee, the Assembly's cuts were softened and much of the proposed UC budget was restored to its original levels.
"This has been a very good year for education and we have every reason to be pleased with the outcome of the budget process," said Chancellor Berdahl.
The chancellor praised the continuing efforts on all fronts to improve the quality of elementary and secondary education in California and said he was "especially supportive" of the linkages between K-12 and higher education.
At the same time, said Berdahl, "The support and funding for the California Institutes for Science Innovation recognize the vital role that basic research plays in advancing the California economy."
The specific amounts appropriated to the Berkeley campus have yet to be determined by the Office of the President, but will reflect the overall increase in many areas.
Highlights of the UC Budget:
Student fees: Raising the fees of UC students is a politically unpopular notion in Sacramento. Budget negotiators ignored Senate Republican efforts to roll back fees to their 1991 levels, but managed -- for the sixth consecutive year -- to avoid raising costs. Fees will maintain at $3,429 for resident undergraduates and $3,609 for resident graduate students. This achievement reflects UC's commitment to "maintain access to a high-quality, affordable education for all UC-eligible students," UC President Richard Atkinson said.
Enrollment growth: Steps were taken to confront the impending system-wide influx of students, referred to as Tidal Wave II. The budget funds enrollment growth of 6,000 students (4 percent) and encourages summer session attendance. Beginning 2001, summer fees will be lowered to the same as the rest of the academic year, making summer session more affordable and a more attractive option for students. The debate continues as to how and how fast UC will become a fully expanded year round system. The university will continue seeking additional state funds for the faculty, staff and other costs associated with an expanded summer term.
Employee wages: The exact amounts have yet to be determined, but the budget provided a last-minute addition of $19 million to increase the salaries of UC employees, with a priority for raising the wages of lower-paid UC employees. For details on the salary plan for the Berkeley campus, see related story on page 5.
California Institutes for Science and Innovation: UC's capital budget includes $75 million for the creation of three institutes to focus on scientific and engineering research in fields key to the future of California's economy. Each institute will bring together faculty, students and industrial partners to work in cross-disciplinary teams aimed at developing the next generation of knowledge in the field. Preliminary proposals for the centers are being reviewed, and selections will be made in the fall.
Outreach: The state is increasingly relying on UC to help improve California's K-12 public schools. The 2000-2001 budget includes $71 million to create or expand UC-led programs providing professional development to teachers and principals. Berkeley will continue to play a key role in this effort, by hosting the Principal's Institute and by providing some of the subject-specific professional development activities.
Capital program: The capital budget will fund a variety of projects throughout the UC system, including $15 million for a new seismic replacement building at Hearst Avenue and Oxford Street. With construction to begin early next year, the building will serve as a critical part of the seismic safety plan, by temporarily housing classrooms, labs and offices during retrofitting efforts on campus.
Labor Institutes: $6 million was allocated to UC for a multi-campus Institute for Labor and Employment to be built at the existing Institutes of Industrial Relations at Berkeley and UCLA. The new institute will draw on faculty, staff, and student resources throughout the UC system and will support an array of applied and policy research and outreach programs addressed to critical contemporary problems of labor, employment, and the workforce in the 21st century California economy. How the $6 million will be split between the two campuses has not been determined. An equal division is expected.
Technology: The budget reflects Davis' bolstering of the state's technology infrastructure by including $50 million to expand access to Internet2, the high-speed connection between educational facilities in California.