University of California poised to hike tuition as regents, Gov. Brown battle

University of California poised to hike tuition after key committee vote; full board will vote Thursday

A key UC regents committee moved Wednesday to hike tuition by as much as 28% over the next five years despite strong opposition from the governor, legislative leaders and students.

The regents committee on long-range planning approved the hike in a 7-2 vote after an unusual debate that pitted the state’s most powerful political leaders against administrators of the 10-campus UC system. The full Board of Regents is scheduled to vote Thursday on the proposed increase, which would end a three-year freeze on tuition.

UC officials said the increase could be lowered if enough state funding comes through.

Gov. Jerry Brown argued strongly against the tuition increase and instead proposed an in-depth study of such basic educational and cost issues as getting students to graduate in three years, offering more online courses and consolidating programs duplicated across UC campuses.

He and student Regent Sadia Saifuddin cast the two dissenting votes.

For undergraduates who are California residents, tuition next year could rise to $12,804, not including room, board and books. By the 2019-20 school year, that could increase to $15,564.

UC President Janet Napolitano has said the university needs more money to help cover rising costs of pensions and salaries, hire more faculty and to boost the number of California undergraduates by 5,000.

The regents held their debate and vote about the tuition hike at UC San Francisco, where about 100 people protested the proposed hike. The scene became chaotic at some points, with shoving matches between police and demonstrators.  

One Berkeley student was arrested on suspicion of inciting a riot after protesters forced their way through metal barricades and police security lines. A large glass door shattered. 

Former UC Chancellor Karl Pister, 89, said he was knocked down. In all his years at UC, he said, "Today is the first time I was knocked down."

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