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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Graduating in three years?

The UC Commission on the Future adopted a draft on Oct. 11 of recommendations intended to help the system continue to cope with increased enrollment at a time of reduced state funding.

Finding ways to have more students graduate with a bachelor’s degree in less than four years were among the 20 recommendations, speeding up systemwide reforms to administration that have been ongoing since the 2007-2008 fiscal year, according a UC Newsroom report.

The commission’s goal is to get only some to graduate early – not all UC students.

“There were lots of concerns about if you force the wrong kinds of students, too many students, into the three-year pathway, what kinds of limitations would you be dealing with,” said Daniel Greenstein, vice provost for academic planning, programs and coordination for UC and member of the commission. “The recommendation was to do this for a select set of students, not every student.”

According to the report, increasing the number of students who graduate early by 5 to 10 percent would free up about 2,000 to 4,000 spaces for more undergraduates.

Keith R. Williams, senior lecturer in exercise biology at UC Davis, is a member of the commission and one of the working group co-chairs.

“I think the goal was to find alternative sources of revenue from the state, because it was perceived it just all couldn’t come from fees,” Williams said.

The UC system often adopts the commission’s recommendations. UC President Mark Yudof and Russell Gould, chair of the UC Board of Regents, co-chair the commission.

However, some students are dissatisfied with the commission and its recommendations.

Brian Sparks, a senior international relations major, has been keeping track of the recommendations. He said a lot of the recommendations made are contradictory – such as recommendation nine, which plans to recoup the indirect costs of sponsored research.

“How do you raise tuition on people who can’t afford tuition when you’re not even recovering all the costs that are already owed to you?” Sparks asked.

Sparks said UC should recover costs before raising tuition.

“They haven’t done it, it’s been a year since the 32 percent tuition increase and they still can’t even recover their research costs,” he said. Still, commissioners reiterate that their suggestions are the result of trying to find the most feasible solutions in difficult times.

“There just is not a silver bullet application … The aim is to try and figure out what’s the combination that allows us to maintain that balancing act that we’ve been able to afford and just now is getting more challenging,” Greenstein said.

Among other recommendations, the commission outlined plans for streamlining transfer criteria and re-hauling the Assist.org website to facilitate this, exploring ways to expand online instruction and increasing non-resident enrollment. A full text of the recommendations can be seen at ucfuture.universityofcalifornia.edu/documents/meeting_materials_oct2010.pdf.

CECILIO PADILLA can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.


  1. The only recommendations highlighted in this article are the non-controversial recommendations. Yes, putting a 3 year track in place might free up 4000 undergrad spots UC-system wide. That’s pretty non-controversial.

    Recommendation 9 (recovering indirect research costs) is one of the recommendations I agree with. The UC needs to recover their research costs before they cut academic programs and before they raise tuition, which is something the administration is not currently doing.

    I don’t see this in the article anywhere, but the Commission on the Future wants to change the admissions requirements. Right now if you meet the requirements to get in to the UC, you will be accepted to the UC. Maybe not your first choice school, but you will be accepted. The effect of this policy is that high-school students (and their parents) know exactly what they need to do to get into the UC.

    The new policy hides the standard. Students will not know what the requirement is to get into the UC. More to the point, a student may now meet every requirement to get into the UC system and still not be accepted.

    The people hurt by this change are most often minorities and people from poorer neighborhoods.

    There’s a fact-sheet on that here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=gmail&attid=0.1&thid=12b7d7b23a654b86&mt=application/msword&url=https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui%3D2%26ik%3Dc9cbfc1a44%26view%3Datt%26th%3D12b7d7b23a654b86%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dattd%26realattid%3Df_g5vlwxky0%26zw&sig=AHIEtbSts7W1VAyW1csYBIUm5Sjnbm3ZPA

    The other controversial issue not touched on is the doubling of the number of transfer students from 7600 to 15000 system-wide.


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