The celebration over the passage of Proposition 30 has died down, and now many students are left with burning questions about what happens next. In Griffin Lounge this past Tuesday, Kelly Ratliff, the UC Davis vice chancellor for Budget and Institutional Analysis, answered these questions.
Organized by the Student Assistants to the Chancellor (SAC), the event, titled “Prop. 30 Passed … Now What?,” provided students with a forum where they could learn about the school’s budget and get their questions about the UC’s budget and the proposition answered.
Many saw Prop. 30 as far from being the silver bullet for the UC’s financial problems.
“What Prop. 30 did was prevent the next cut. It did not allocate us any more money. It gave us a chance to stabilize where we are,” Ratliff said.
Ratliff also discussed what is being done to fix UC Davis’ $56 million budget shortfall for 2012-13 and what it means for students.
According to Ratliff, talk of budget can often feel like an overwhelming amount of numbers, but the numbers tell a story.
“This is the story many of you have been living,” Ratliff explained as she began going through the ins and outs of tuition costs and budget allocations.
Students in attendance wondered how all of this will affect their tuition costs.
“This year there [were] no increases in tuition,” Ratliff said.
Ratliff explained that UC Davis organized a tuition agreement with the state this year. In return for keeping tuition costs the same this year, the state will give the school money next year. The passage of Prop. 30 means no mid-year tuition increases for students either. If the state carries through with their deal, the same deal may be made next year, meaning no tuition increases then as well.
The projected revenue for this year is $3.6 billion, with 40 percent coming from the medical center, 11 percent coming from tuition and 8 percent coming from state unrestricted funds.
The university’s funds will go to academic salaries and wages (18 percent), staff salaries and wages (33 percent), benefits (16 percent), supplies and equipment (25 percent) and scholarships (seven percent).
According to Ratliff, the shortfall in the UC Davis budget has caused class sizes to increase. It has also prompted an increase in ladder faculty who are actually teaching classes.
The University has been looking into strategies to fix the budget deficit. The campus plans to try to increase the enrollment of out-of-state and international undergraduate students, as they pay nearly $7,000 more than what in-state students pay per quarter, according to the Student Fees Fact Sheet by Budget and Institutional Analysis.
They also hope to save energy through efficiency efforts. While the campus has grown in the past five years, energy consumption has gone down.
The UC Regents also made a budget proposal in mid-November. The governor’s budget proposal will be released Jan. 10.
“Our whole campus is in anticipation for January,” said ASUCD Controller Melanie Maemura.
Students are encouraged to get involved in this process that will be deciding many of their futures.
“We are trying to inform people so they have the correct information if they decide they want to reach out to their legislators and advocate,” said Student Assistant to the Chancellor Artem Trotsyuk.
Ratiff agreed that the voice of students is necessary to aid the UC’s budgetary state.
“Students telling their stories is the best way, I think, to influence the process,” Ratliff said.
A recorded version of Ratliff’s presentation can be found atustream.tv/channel/prop-30-passed-now-what.
LAUREN MASCARENHAS can be reached at email@example.com.