UC: No tuition hike needed under Brown's budget

  • California Gov. Jerry Brown, right, gestures while speaking as regent Russell Gould, left, looks on during a meeting of the UC Board of Regents Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 in San Francisco. Gov. Brown is pressing the University of California to bring more courses online to help make college more accessible and affordable. Brown urged university leaders to expand online education. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

SAN FRANCISCO — The University of California can avoid raising tuition this fall if the 10-campus system gets the funding increase proposed in Gov. Jerry Brown's budget plan, school leaders said Thursday at a UC board meeting attended by the state's top elected officials.

University leaders said they welcomed the governor's proposal to raise state funding for UC by $250 million to about $2.6 billion. The increase is less than UC had requested, but it's a reversal from years of budget cuts that led to hefty tuition hikes, reduced enrollment and cuts to academic programs.

UC officials said they don't anticipate the need to increase tuition for undergraduates or graduate students in the coming fall. Instead, they said they would seek other ways to cut costs and raise money, such as private fundraising, debt restructuring and expanding online education.

"We are extraordinarily grateful for what the state has done," board Chair Sherry Lansing said at the regents meeting. "The truth is we have to find alternate sources of revenue. ... We can't just only rely on the state."

The regents held a wide-ranging discussion of the university's finances and future at a meeting attended by Brown, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Assembly Speaker John Perez and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. The four elected officials are board members, but it's rare for all of them to attend the same meeting.

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