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January 12, 1998

Governor proposes 8 percent budget increase for UC

By Rick Malaspina
UC Office of the President

Gov. Pete Wilson has proposed an 8 percent state budget increase for the University of California 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 to allow 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:

The governor's plan calls for a $12 million reduction in funding 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.

Prior to 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 is dependent on voter approval of a bond measure later this year. The governor has proposed to place on the ballot a $1 billion bond measure for public higher education that would be shared by the University of California, 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.

As part of Gov. Wilson's budget plan, he has proposed principles that could form the basis for a new compact with higher education. These principles are generally consistent with those supported by the university and will be the subject of further discussion.

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