Summer Sessions expanding to meet enrollment surge
Increased summer instruction will absorb some of Tidal Wave II growth

By Judy Lin-Eftekhar, UCLA Public Affairs

22 March 2001 | LOS ANGELES — It’s rolling in. “Tidal Wave II,” that is, an unprecedented swell of 52,600 students at UC campuses that will wash in over the next decade as a population boomlet of Californians reaches college age. As a major component of a UC-wide plan to accommodate this enrollment growth, Berkeley, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara are embarking upon an ambitious expansion of their 2001 summer sessions — and other UC campuses are not far behind.

“The pressure to expand summer is real and intense,” according a report from Office of the President issued before a presentation to the UC Regents on March 15 at UCLA by executive vice chancellors from the three campuses.

“We want to get summer to a 40 percent increase (systemwide) in full-time enrollment,” said UC President Richard Atkinson. Berkeley plans a 100 percent summer session full-time enrollment increase by 2010.

As a critical underpinning of this expansion, Gov. Gray Davis and the state legislature have provided $13.8 million to reduce summer fees to UC students. Previously, the state provided funding for students in the fall, winter and spring terms, while students paid higher course and registration fees in the summer.

Summer fees have been reduced by about 40 percent combined across all three campuses. At Berkeley, typical summer student fees of $900 are down to about $575, a 36 percent reduction for the average student, who takes five units.

State legislators are also considering additional funding to let campuses hire more ladder faculty and provide student financial aid.

Foremost in all three campuses’ plans is high academic quality, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Gray told the regents.

“We all take it as an elemental principle that quality will be maintained,” Gray said.

The two main components of an “educationally enriching experience,” said UC Santa Barbara Executive Vice Chancellor Ilene Nagel, are courses taught by ladder-rank faculty and a wide-ranging curriculum.

Currently, there is little financial incentive for ladder-rank faculty to teach during the summer, because they are paid at a lower rate for summer teaching if they have already taught two semesters or three quarters during the school year. Campus planners are trying to remedy this. Also, many faculty attend conferences and conduct research during the summer, an additional disincentive to summer teaching.

“The research we do is important to California’s economy and to our own economy. We can’t see that compromised,” said UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor Wyatt Hume.

Still, the faculty picture looks promising: Projections for all three campuses already show a 48 percent increase in ladder-rank faculty teaching this summer — 291 ladder-rank faculty compared to 197 last year.

In addition, 16 percent more courses are already planned for this summer: 1,547 at the three campuses, compared to 1,335 last summer.

More courses, said UCLA’s Hume, will encourage more students to take “high-demand” classes, including general education prerequisites and courses in rapidly growing fields such as psychology.

Enrollment for Summer Sessions is now open at Berkeley and UCLA, with UC Santa Barbara soon to follow. Early indications show increased enrollment, as well as registration for a higher number of units.

“The path we would like to pursue at Berkeley would involve going from about 1,500 full-time enrollments last summer to about 3,500,” said Gray.

“We’re optimistic, but we realize that there are problems that aren’t going to be solved in a year or two. There are still a lot of unknowns. We’re going to build it and see if they come.”

Judy Lin-Eftekhar with UCLA Public Affairs covered the March regents meeting for the Berkeleyan and UCLA Today, the faculty/staff newspaper at UCLA.


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