Open Letter from CUCFA President Meister to UC President Yudof on This Year’s Tuition Increase

TO: UC President Mark Yudof
FROM: Bob Meister, President of the Council of UC Faculty Associations, and Professor of Political and Social Thought, UC Santa Cruz
SUBJECT: Your Open Letter to Californians of November 8, 2010
DATE: 11/15/2010
CC: Governor-Elect Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Lieutenant Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom, and all UC students

So, you’re raising tuition again—reluctantly, and because you feel you have no choice, but, still, you’re doing it. You raised it last year by an amount that would largely offset what the state had cut from UC’s appropriation during the financial crisis. And this year you are raising it despite the fact that the state has restored half that dollar amount, thanks largely to student protests. I’ll pass over the fact that you’re not using funds from this year’s tuition increase to restore even half of last year’s instructional cuts on UC campuses. Instead, you encourage students to believe that two thirds of their new tuition will help avoid instructional cuts that would otherwise have occurred in some imagined future. It is evident to all, however, that UC’s instructional cost (cost per credit hour) is going down so that UC can channel funds into areas where costs are almost certain to go up—for example new construction projects that are unlikely to pay for themselves or research activities that will need to be subsidized (perhaps increasingly) by enrollment-generated funds. It seems that instruction is one of the few areas where UC administrators know how to economize, and that instructional fees are the only revenue stream that UC is confident of being able to increase, perhaps indefinitely.[1]

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