The 1998-99 state budget signed into law today (Aug. 21) by Governor Wilson makes a substantial investment of new funds in providing California students with access to an affordable, high-quality University of California education.
The budget funds the enrollment of 6,000 more UC students than were previously funded by the state and provides the resources necessary to reduce UC student fees by 5 percent for California resident undergraduates. The new spending plan also gives a major boost to UCs outreach programs to students in the public schools and is anticipated to double the amount spent by the state and university on these efforts to improve academic performance and encourage college attendance.
"This is the best budget of the decade for the University of California, and it will be welcome news to the entire University community," said UC President Richard C. Atkinson. "We are grateful to the governor and the Legislature for recognizing the contributions of the University to the states economic vitality, and for committing new resources to place a UC education within the reach of more Californians than ever before."
The budget not only meets but exceeds the provisions of the fourth and final year of the states higher education compact, a plan to restore fiscal stability to UC and the California State University system following the drastic cutbacks of the early 1990s.
Permanent General Fund support for the university will rise $270 million in 1998-99. With the addition of $70 million in one-time funds to address critical infrastructure needs, the General Fund budget totals $2.519 billion, an increase of $340 million (15.6 percent) over 1997-98. Because a portion of this state funding increase offsets a loss of student fee revenue, however, UCs real spending from state funds and fee revenue will rise 11.4 percent in 1998-99.
UC mandatory systemwide student fees have not been raised since 1994, and under the new budget these fees will decrease 5 percent this fall to $3,609 per year for California resident undergraduates. This amount does not include miscellaneous campus fees, which bring the total average fee for resident undergraduates to $4,037 per year. Mandatory systemwide fees for California residents in graduate or professional degree programs will remain at 1997-98 levels. Tuition for out-of-state students will rise 4.5 percent, or $400, consistent with state policy tying nonresident tuition to the cost of education at UC and to the fees at comparable institutions.
The budget provides $43.6 million in new money to fund 6,000 more UC students than were funded by the state in the previous year. This increase consists of enrollment growth, already-enrolled students who had not previously been funded by the state, and an additional 800 undergraduates in engineering and computer science who will be enrolled in an effort to help address the states workforce needs in targeted fields.
The Legislature and governor provided an additional $33.5 million in UCs budget for outreach programs to K-12 students, and the university will add $5 million, producing a $38.5 million increase. Because the budget also requires a match of K-12 money totaling $31 million, spending on UC outreach programs is anticipated to reach approximately $135 million in 1998-99, more than double the $65 million spent in 1997-98.
Under a plan developed by UCs Outreach Task Force, the university is intensifying its efforts to address inequities in K-12 educational opportunities as a means of better preparing students from all backgrounds for UC admission. The new funding will allow these services to be significantly expanded, consistent with the task forces recommendation that spending on the universitys outreach programs be doubled.
"This is a major boost for programs that are a very high priority for the Board of Regents and for this administration," Atkinson said. "We are pleased that the governor and the Legislature, by this budget action, have given their endorsement to the goals and implementation strategies outlined by the Outreach Task Force."
The outreach money includes $15 million to expand UCs partnerships with K-12 schools, an initiative aiming to improve long-term student performance. Another $15 million will expand UCs student-centered academic programs, such as MESA, Puente and Early Academic Outreach, which provide tutoring, counseling and enrichment to K-12 students.
The increase in outreach funding also includes money to expand services promoting UC transfer opportunities to community college students; extend the universitys outreach activities in the Central Valley; provide more informational outreach to students, families, teachers and counselors; and evaluate the long-term effectiveness of the outreach effort.
The budget also includes: Funding for a 2.5 percent salary equity adjustment for UC faculty, in addition to merit increases and funding equivalent to an average 2 percent cost-of-living increase for all UC employees. The adjustment for faculty is the final step in a four-year plan to restore salaries to the average level at UCs eight comparison institutions. $70 million in one-time funds for deferred maintenance, instructional technology, other instructional equipment and library materials. $11.4 million to support development of UC Merced. Of this amount, $9.9 million consists of operating funds a $5 million increase over the 1997-98 figure and $1.5 million is earmarked for development of "distributed education" centers that will offer on-site instruction, teacher training, distance learning and outreach activities intended to prepare San Joaquin Valley students for admission to UC Merced and other UC campuses. A $7 million increase for the Industry-University Cooperative Research Program. This program, which will receive a total of $15 million in state and university funds, promotes research partnerships between UC and private industry in fields critical to the states economy. Private-sector contributions remain an important component of the programs funding. A $22 million augmentation for other research initiatives, including medical research on alcohol and substance abuse, neurodevelopmental research, and agricultural research. $2.5 million to increase enrollment of veterinary students at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and to expand the schools clinical programs into Southern California. $3 million for the California Digital Library, an augmentation to the $1 million already invested in the project by the university. The digital library initially will develop links among the UC libraries and ultimately will make the vast collections of the UC campuses available over the Internet to anyone with a computer and modem. Preservation of $12 million in funding for the California Subject Matter Projects, a program that provides professional development for K-12 teachers. A new governance structure and other program changes accompany the funding.
Additionally, the budget includes $211 million for capital improvement projects on UCs nine campuses, contingent upon voter approval of a bond measure. This figure reflects an increase from the $150 million set out in the January budget proposal and will allow UC to accelerate several of its capital projects, primarily those involving seismic improvements, modernization and infrastructure improvements. UC is working with its partners in the K-12, CSU and community college systems to encourage legislative approval of a bond measure for the November ballot.
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