A 1996-97 UC budget plan, which would require a minimum $130 million or 4.8 percent increase in funding, has been approved by the Board of Regents.
"It is critical that this budget request be funded. It is what we believe is minimally required to ensure that the university can sustain its excellence and honor its commitment to take all qualified California high school graduates," said Associate Vice President Larry Hershman, the university's budget director.
After the governor announces his budget proposal Jan. 10, Hershman said any proposals for modification of the plan and "any recommendations with respect to student fees needed to meet the university's expenditure plan" will be presented to the regents.
Buoyed by reports that state revenues are up, the regents at their Nov. 17th meeting in San Francisco set three priorities if additional state funds are made available by the governor and Legislature.
--Accelerate the rate at which UC is closing the gap between UC faculty salaries and those of comparison institutions.
--Set the goal of no student fee increase.
--Seek greater funding for student outreach programs.
The expenditure request is consistent with the four-year funding compact with higher education announced last year by Gov. Pete Wilson. Under the compact, UC could expect a 4.5 percent, or $83 million, increase in state funding. Another $35.5 million in state funding would be needed to prevent any general fee increase next year and to accelerate the returning of faculty salaries to the level of comparison universities. A proposal for expanded outreach is still under development.
The spending plan seeks funds to cover inflation and an estimated 1 percent increase in enrollment. UC is requesting the equivalent of a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for all university employees and funding equivalent to an additional 3 percent salary increase for faculty.
The total faculty increase is the first step in a three-year plan to restore by 1998-99 faculty salaries to the averages at comparison institutions.
Accelerating the closing of the gap to two years would mean a 4.5 percent parity increase for faculty beyond the general 2 percent increase for all employees. UC faculty salaries currently lag about 10 percent behind comparison institutions.
The proposed budget also calls for a $10 million expenditure savings through productivity improvements.
It provides reassurances that for the near term UC will sustain the excellence of its programs, that all eligible Californians seeking undergraduate admission will be offered a place and that classes will be provided to enable students to graduate in a timely fashion.
The plan also anticipates continuing the differential fee structure for professional schools as well as an increase in non-resident tuition.