UC Tuition to Increase for Bureaucracy
Deborah Porter, Foreign Policy Contributor
Today, the UC Board of Regents votes on tuition increases for all students across the UC system, following a six-year freeze on tuition. Considering the CPI of California has increased over ten percent, tuition increases very well may be necessary to keep up with the natural economic situation of California. However, some Republicans are opposing the tuition hikes for reasons outside of the naturally increasing economy.
Yesterday, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) led a press conference to voice concerns over the University of California’s activities. In Kiley’s introduction, he said that “We are here today to urge the UC Regents to reject this tuition increase.” In his statement, he argued that UC tuition had more than doubled in the years prior to the tuition freeze, and today threatens to increase the number of students going out of state for college. Ivy Allen, the current chair of the California College Republicans, supported this statement, stating that “going to college in California is a luxury” and “the concept of UC’s in particular was so infeasible” that she had to exclude them from her choices of universities.
Furthermore, Kiley also mentioned that the UC Office of the President is currently under audit for “a staggering growth in administrative spending.” Even though Republicans stood up for students today, it was Democrats Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), who called for the audit in August of last year. This audit has yet to be completed, and Kiley argued that since the increased administration spending was more than the tuition hikes, the audit’s results may influence the need for a tuition hike. Catherine Baker, the Vice Chair of the Higher Education Committee and also a member of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, argued that the last state audit indicated “tens of millions of dollars every year that we are already sending to them, that are already coming from students,” but are not being handled responsibly. Baker adamantly said that “They have work to do,” advocating that the UC system practice fiscal responsibility before adding costs to the students.
The truth is that the UC administration has increased to the point of detriment to the students. Some administrators are necessary, but universities are about what is taught and learned, and should focus on improving students’ knowledge, as well as offering a way to better one’s life through hard work and dedication. Ryan Joy, a community college student transferring to a UC, put it best when he said, “Instead of following the recommendations of the previous audit in that cutting costs, therefore making college more affordable to all Californians, [the UC system] will continue to bolster their administration, and diverge from the true values of education.” This is completely wrong, and the UC Regents should vote “No” on increasing the tuition. Instead, they should consider following a policy of fiscal responsibility, cutting costs as recommended by the independent audits.
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