UC Regents vote for tuition increase
On Jan. 26, the University of California (UC) Regents voted to increase tuition for UC students by $282 and the student services fee by $54 — a $336 increase overall. The tuition increase, which will be implemented in the 2017-18 academic year, is the UC’s first in six years. According to the UC Regents, it will not impact about two thirds of UC students due to increased financial aid.
The Editorial Board recognizes that tuition increases are inevitable and appreciates that financial aid will cover the increase for the majority of students. However, it seems unjust for the UC administration to raise the tuition when UC chancellors are earning a base salary of $400,000 a year and the UC is employing, and thus paying, almost three times as many administrators as the California State University (CSU) is — an especially troubling statistic considering that CSU has almost double the number of students. The UC should not increase the tuition of its hard-working students, many of whom work part-time or full-time or take out loans to afford attending college, if it is going to pay its administrators these high salaries and pay more administrators than necessary.
The Editorial Board also demands that the administration increase its financial transparency. For example, the UC has still not publicly released how much it cost the university to investigate former Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi last year prior to her resignation.
Although we understand the difficulties that can accompany a tuition increase for students, the Editorial Board hopes that tangible positive changes on campus will come as a result. Overcrowding is one issue that increased funds could help. Under its 2020 Initiative, UC Davis is expected to increase its student population by 5,000 students by 2020. UC President Janet Napolitano has also called on the UCs to enroll 10,000 additional California students by 2019. This increase in student population has already led to a lack of classroom space and housing insecurities, among other problems. Napolitano informed the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board that the tuition increase would be used to hire more faculty as well as increase class options in order to account for this student increase. The Editorial Board hopes that the UC administration does indeed use the money to combat this problem as well as consider other pressing campus issues.
But most importantly, the Editorial Board calls on the UC Regents to avoid future tuition increases. We believe that the UC systems exists to serve its students — not the other way around. Continuous tuition increases would be merely a temporary bandage, and we implore the UC administration to find other ways to save money rather than continue to increase tuition in years to come.