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A house in the backwoods of Merced is a lot cheaper than one overlooking the surf in La Jolla, so why should tuition at their respective University of California campuses be the same? So argues UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgenea, who wants to set a tuition mid-point and allow UC campuses to range up to 25 percent above and below that.

Pedro Reyes of the University of Texas told the L.A.Times that "UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego could charge higher fees without harming enrollments"..."I know the clientele could meet those pricing structures."

Critics tell us the sliding tuition fees would make the already elite institution that much more stand-offish than ever to the mere local taxpayers who foot the bills.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/education/la-me-uc-tuition-20110509,0,491002.story

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Comments

Visduh May 9, 2011 @ 9:22 p.m.

This is a very good way to ration seats in the UC, if all you are interested in doing is balancing enrollment. Exactly what the Texan means in referring to "not harming enrollments" isn't at all clear. Surely the three top UC campuses as measured by their popularity will never want for applicants. But if you price them higher, you could eventually make them attractive only to out-of-state students willing to pay sky-high tuition and fees. Hey guys, the UC exists to serve Californians!

There will probably eventually be a higher tuition and fee structure at the most popular UC campuses, but the question is "How much higher?" Those campuses may justify the higher fees with higher costs having to do with being in higher-cost areas. Or they might just say that the ultra-popular campuses need to help out their poorer brethren by making the students pay for that popularity.

All this talk of tuition at the UC is disheartening. The UC was established to provide a top-drawer education to Californians of limited means but high potential. That concept is eroding rapidly today, and talk of much higher tuition and fees is just going to drive more students away from the UC. I hate to see this happening but fear it will get much worse soon.

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Moravecglobal May 9, 2011 @ 10:27 p.m.

University of California system wages and salaries need to reflect depressed California wages. The public pays toward the costs of the University of California and the University of California is not untouchable. As many Californians face foreclosure, unemployment and depressed wages it's about time that the timid University of California Board of Regents and University of California President Mark Yudof reined in administrative and faculty compensation.

As a Californian, I don't care what others earn at private and public universities in the United States. If the wages are better elsewhere, UC-paid employees need to apply for the positions. If wages are what keep UC paid employees committed to the University of California, leave for the better-paying position. The sky will not fall.

Wages at the University of California need to reflect California's ability to pay not what others are being paid. California is in the worst deficit in modern times.

Current UCOP, campus chancellors and vice chancellors, and faculty are replaceable by like talented people.

Here is what we should do:

18 percent cut in UCOP salaries and $50 million cut.

18 percent is cut in campus chancellors', vice chancellors' salaries.

10 percent cut in faculty salaries, as well as increase the research and teaching load.

The UC Board of Regents can begin now to bridge the trust gap with Californians by offering reassurances that UC salaries reflectdepressed wages in California. Everyone is replaceable at the University of California. The sky has not and will not fall.

Californians are reasonable people. Levy no new taxes until an approved balanced budget: Let the governor and Legislature make the tough-minded (not coldhearted) decisions of elected leadership. Then come to Californians for specified, continuing or new taxes.

Thanking you in advance for your partnership and for standing up for Californians and the University of California.

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SurfPuppy619 May 10, 2011 @ 10:04 p.m.

Here is what we should do:

18 percent cut in UCOP salaries and $50 million cut.

18 percent is cut in campus chancellors', vice chancellors' salaries.

10 percent cut in faculty salaries, as well as increase the research and teaching load.

======================== Great post, this above part was exceptional.

I have advocated the same approach applied through out San Diego City gov to cure our pension mess. Cut salaries, progressively, and take the portion cut and send it straight to the pension fund.

So say a cop of ff is earning $100K per year, cut it 25%-to $75K-then take that $25K cut and deposit it directly into the pension fund.

It would cure the pension deficit while at the same time LOWERING the overall pesnion liabilities by freezing highest years wages.

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Visduh May 14, 2011 @ 3:39 p.m.

Some years back, like twenty, the UCSB alumni association was constantly telling its members that the university could not keep expecting young new faculty members to come to SB and take jobs that started at only about $30K a year. The sky high cost of homes in that area was keeping the new profs in penury, and many took positions at other universities in typical low-cost "college towns." Or so the story went. Now the UC is having no difficulty filling its tenure track slots. It is besieged with applicants. That old bugbear of the high cost of housing in LA, East Bay (Berkeley), San Diego and Santa Barbara is not heard of now. That is because those faculty salaries are generous now, unlike the 80's. One can only wonder if all the tuition boosts that have occurred in the past twenty years actually went to raising pay of those on board, and not toward hiring more and better faculty members. One thing all that extra take did NOT do was reduce class sizes. The lecture courses with 700 students in one stadium-style room didn't to away; they became more numerous.

If the UC really has it as bad as claimed, it is time for the existing staff to share some of the pain and accept a temporary pay cut. I say "temporary" because it would be temporary in the same way that our state income tax, sales tax, and motor vehicle license fees are now temporary. But, hey, if we'll be paying these taxes until we die, they can live on less until they retire. Only fair.

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monaghan June 12, 2011 @ 9:16 p.m.

Uniform pricing at all UC campuses and proportionate sharing of proceeds among them is essential if California is to keep intact our great Master Plan for higher education which has been a driver of the state's economy. We have an unparalleled interlocking system of public community colleges, state colleges and nine University of California campuses.

It's bad enough that recent tuition hikes are pricing a lot of qualified students out of the UC system, and that more higher-paying out-of-state admittees are being accepted. But if individual UC campuses are permitted to differentiate among themselves and adopt different rates of tuition, a brilliant model for public higher education that's taken more than 50 years to build will be undone.

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Twister June 13, 2011 @ 1:57 p.m.

"Follow the money," OF COURSE! In constant dollars, what do the input-output graphs look like for the last century?

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