May 29, 2000
Accountability is key element of new higher education partnership
By Brad Hayward
UC Office of the President
Gov. Gray Davis, the University of California and the California State University
have reached agreement on a new partnership that will provide for continued investment
and accountability in California higher education during the coming years.
The partnership, a set of agreements between the Davis administration and the two
institutions, provides for predictable annual increases in General Fund support for
UC and CSU while also committing both systems to accountability in specific areas
of performance. It takes effect immediately and will last at least through 2002-03.
"This partnership is a strong statement of the state's commitment to quality,
access, affordability and accountability in California higher education," said
UC President Richard C. Atkinson. "It is a plan that will greatly help UC meet
its obligations to the tens of thousands of new students who will be knocking at
our doors in the coming years."
The Davis administration announced the partnership in a letter to the chairs of the
Legislature's budget committees during the week of May 15-19.
The partnership aims to provide UC with growing financial resources in the coming
years to help the university plan for the future, invest in core needs, and provide
access to an affordable, high-quality education for the 60,000 additional students
expected to enroll at UC by 2010. The partnership also includes UC commitments to
timely graduation, increased transfers from community colleges, expanded teacher
training, continued collaboration with K-12 schools and other objectives important
to the state.
The Legislature will still review UC's budget annually. With the partnership, however,
the Davis administration signals its intention to provide UC with a predictable 4
percent increase of state General Fund money each year, plus funding for enrollment
growth. In addition, UC would receive a 1 percent increase dedicated to building
maintenance, instructional equipment, instructional technology and libraries--areas
in which funding backlogs exist--and would receive additional one-time funding for
these priorities when fiscal conditions permit.
The partnership also would make funding available for annuitant benefits; for debt
service related to capital outlay; and for new or expanded initiatives such as the
development of off-campus centers, year-round operations, increased outreach to K-12
schools, or special research initiatives. The partnership includes $210 million per
year for UC facilities needs, consistent with voter-approved Proposition 1A, and
support for new capital funding after Proposition 1A expires in 2001-02, through
either a new bond or other state funds.
Additionally, the partnership calls for mandatory systemwide student fees to rise
each year by no more than the increase in California per-capita personal income.
The governor and the Legislature would have the option of "buying out"
fee increases, as they have in recent years, by providing equivalent General Fund
money. The 1999-2000 year is the fifth consecutive year without a mandatory systemwide
fee increase at UC, and these fees actually have decreased 10 percent for resident
undergraduates and 5 percent for resident academic graduate students.
In return for the state's funding commitments, UC commits to accountability on a
number of key objectives, such as ensuring student access to the university under
the state Master Plan for Higher Education, maintaining faculty teaching loads that
provide students with the classes they need for timely graduation, preserving competitive
faculty salaries, and more than doubling the number of teachers trained at UC by
The agreement also calls for UC to continue expanding outreach programs to improve
the academic performance of K-12 students, increase the number of transfer students
from community colleges, increase regional collaborations with the other segments
of public higher education, maximize use of its facilities, continue pursuing development
of UC Merced, and continue graduating students who will meet California's
workforce needs, through means including an expansion of enrollments in engineering
and computer science.
The university also will increase its research efforts to help California remain
competitive in the knowledge-based economy, including creation of the California
Institutes for Science and Innovation and expansion of the
Industry-University Cooperative Research Program.
Also, the partnership calls for UC to create $50 million in internal budget savings
by 2002-03 from increased use of technology and streamlining of administrative practices.
Those funds would be redirected to the chronically underfunded areas of building
maintenance, instructional equipment, instructional technology and libraries--purposes
for which the state would increase permanent funding by $100 million between 1999-2000
"We look forward to meeting our obligations under this partnership to maintain
high-quality academic programs, to expand educational opportunity and to help California
remain competitive in the global economy," Atkinson said. "This agreement
establishes benchmarks, for both the state and the university, that will help us
plan wisely for the future."
The new partnership builds on the success of a similar four-year agreement between
the two university systems and former Gov. Pete Wilson. That "compact,"
instituted in 1995, helped stabilize funding for California higher education following
the recession of the early 1990s. Both the state and the university systems more
than met their commitments under the compact.
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