University of California (UC) President Mark Yudof presented the Board of Regents with a report outlining the current state of the UC system, in comparison to the previous six years, during a May 15 regents meeting.
“To the best of my ability, I’ve tried to outline the good, the bad and the ugly — and there’s some of each,” said Yudof in a UC Newsroom press release.
Yudof has been president for the past five years and will be retiring in August.
Yudof’s “white paper” report was drafted with the intent of providing a data-driven report about what has occurred in the past six years within the system in regard to trends and policies that might await his successor.
“With a transition in sight, he thought it his duty to document what had transpired in the past six years — framed not by opinion or memory, but as a set of neutral facts. It is an unusual report in this way, and it also is what makes it so effective,” said Peter King, UC Office of the President public affairs director.
The report outlines the financial aid trends that have occurred throughout the past six years.
From the 2007-08 fiscal year to the current one, there was a 27 percent decline in UC state general fund allocations from $3.257 billion to $2.377 billion. Despite the decline in general state funding, tuition has nearly doubled in the previous six years from $6,636 to $12,192.
Although the University has experienced a decrease in state funding, in 2011-12, 65 percent of UC undergraduates received financial aid, with the average being $15,784 per student.
Four out of 10 UC students with family incomes less than $50,000 are Pell Grant eligible, which according to the report, is almost double the average in comparison to other public universities admitted to Association of American Universities.
The report also outlines trends in enrollment, applicants and graduation rates.
There is a 23 percent increase since 1997 in four-year graduation rates with three out of every five UC students now earning a diploma.
“Graduation rates for undergraduates have risen dramatically over the past 20 years, and it is taking less time than ever for them to complete their degrees,” said UC Provost Aimee Dorr in a UC Newsroom press release.
Enrollment has also increased significantly, with 238,252 undergraduates enrolling for the next academic year, an increase from 213,646 students in 2006.
In addition, the applicant pool has also increased. Since fall of 2006, there has been a 32 percent increase in undergraduate applicants. UC Merced and UC Riverside have the greatest applicant growth, at 57 percent and 47 percent, respectively.
The applicant pool has also grown more diverse. For example, for the first time in UC history, Latinos were the largest ethnic group among applicants.
Moreover, for the Fall 2012 freshman class, 45 percent were first-generation college students and 26 percent came from homes where the primary language was not English.
“My reaction was that [President Yudof’s] instincts were correct — that his vision of a data-driven, neutral document was the right approach. It has been well-received by a broad range of interested Californians,” King said.
Yudof’s full report is available online at the UC website.
LILIANA NAVA OCHOA can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.