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Davis

Davis, California

Monday, October 25, 2021

Tuition hikes should not support exorbitant pensions

HANNAH LEE / AGGIE

$26 million of new tuition increase to fund pensions

The University of California system has seen a 2.5 percent tuition hike this fall after the UC Board of Regents voted in January to raise tuition for the first time since 2011. While gradual tuition increases are necessary over time, these new funds are grossly going toward UC faculty’s growing pensions and comfortable retirement funds. Evidently, students’ wallets are the worker bees generating these funds to support UC retirees’ glamourous pensions.

In a Regents meeting this past September, officials discussed next year’s budget and the idea of yet another tuition increase to support even higher pensions and retiree healthcare. UC retirees who have dedicated decades of their careers to bettering the system and enhancing their respective academic fields rightfully deserve their pensions. These new, excessive sums of money, however, are starting to go toward those who have spent less than 10 years in the system.

Former UC President Mark G. Yudof receives a $357,000 annual pension after working for the system a mere seven years. According to the LA Times, a standard UC employee working for Yudof’s old salary for the equivalent amount of time should receive an annual pension of approximately $45,000. Yudof receives nearly eight times this amount.

In Yudof’s words, “That’s the way it works in the real world.”

In 2017, we can’t expect to pay the same $200 in tuition our grandparents paid. The Editorial Board understands tuition increases over time and that pensions are well-deserved for those who dedicate their careers to higher education. However, a hefty $26 million from this tuition hike will go toward bloated pensions for officials who already receive substantial salaries via the public education system.

This dollar amount ought to decrease and feed into professors’ salaries and support tenure-track faculty. Currently, the 2017 tuition hike is allocating $56 million to professors’ salaries and basic needs such as electricity on campus. Given that an amount nearly half this size will serve only to increase pensions, the Editorial Board urges the university to focus its spending directly toward students and faculty. Professors are the people who interact with students and directly influence students’ education. Without them, we lose the backbone of the university.

California students understand the trade-off of attending a UC school. Overpopulated universities with high student-to-faculty ratios can be tolerated to an extent when we receive such a prestigious and renowned education at an affordable price. When tuition becomes less than affordable in the interest of exorbitant pensions, public school students should no longer be as tolerant.

 

Written By: The Editorial Board

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