Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Steinberg rips CSU Chancellor and Others

Less than 3 weeks after the CSU received more than $200 million dollars above the baseline budget, the Board of Trustees voted to raise student fees more than 15%, in two different stages.

Apparently, this has upset some officials in Sacramento. The following letter from Darrel Steinberg was sent to the UC President and Chancellor, and CSU Chancellor Reed:

November 18, 2010

Mr. Russell Gould, Chair, Mr. Herbert Carter, Chair, University of California Board of Regents,

California State University Board of Trustees, Mr. Mark Yudof, President, Mr. Charles Reed, Chancellor, University of California California State University

Dear Chairman Gould, Chairman Carter, President Yudof, and Chancellor Reed:

Access to an affordable and quality higher education is critical to a quicker recovery from the recession and ensuring California's future economic success.

That is why the Legislature worked hard to increase state support for the University of California and the California State University in this year's budget. We provided more than $600 million in additional funding to backfill for cuts made in recent years while also funding for increased enrollment, class sections, and vital student services.

Consequently, I am deeply concerned about the recently adopted fee increases by CSU and UC and the impact they will have on our students, their families, and our economy. Passing more costs on to students and families threatens to price more Californians out of a quality higher education. While financial aid like Cal Grants and institutional aid programs will help the neediest students, there is no question that middle-income students and families will be hit hard by continually rising fees.

Given the evolution of our increasingly international economy, however, it is essential to a strong and sustained economic future that we not further diminish the affordability of higher education in California. Unfortunately, the recession and other fiscal constraints dictate that, under our current system of governance, we must meet 2010 levels of demand with 1990s era resources.

It is essential that we change this dynamic. In order to change it, we must fundamentally restructure government as we know it. Our system is broken, and we can no longer afford to limp by with the fiscal equivalent of duct tape. Through a multi-year restructuring of government, we can free up billions of general fund dollars by moving programs off state books while still giving local communities secure and adequate funding to maintain the core services that protect communities and the most vulnerable in society.

I look to leaders at the UC and CSU, along with students, faculty, and other higher education stakeholders, to partner with the Legislature and new Governor on such a broader budget reform agenda in the coming months. Together, we can ensure California remains a place of hope, opportunity, and
prosperity for all.


Darrel Steinberg
President pro Tempore

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