California residents would not pay more as University of California undergraduates for at least the next two years under an agreement between Gov. Jerry Brown and UC President Janet Napolitano.
The agreement announced Thursday as part of Brown's revised budget resolves a months-long standoff between Napolitano and the governor over the university's finances that had California students and their families worried about the rising cost of a UC education. The deal, which still would allow the 10-campus system to increase tuition for non-residents and students pursuing professional degrees, must be approved by lawmakers.
The updated budget Brown proposed maintains his January plan to increase the university's $3 billion base budget by $120 million, or 4 percent, and does not include any new money to expand in-state enrollment.
But it proposes sending $436 million over three years to UC's pension fund, which is running a multi-billion-dollar deficit and has become a sore point between university and state leaders.
In return for the infusion, the university has promised to create new pension eligibility rules for future employees, according to a spokeswoman.
Napolitano said the Democratic governor backed down from his requirement to make any additional money contingent on UC not admitting more students from outside California and forgoing any tuition hikes. The university, meanwhile, has committed to boosting the number of transfer students it admits from the state's community colleges.
“I feel very strongly that this agreement will enable the university not just to survive but to thrive over the next few years,” Napolitano said in advance of the budget release.
Brown also said he would not veto an attempt by the Legislature to give the system more money to enroll more California students, as he did last year, she said.
The proposal is a first step toward resolving a political clash that arose in November when Napolitano proposed raising tuition for all UC students by up to 5 percent in each of the next five years unless the system received more money from Sacramento. The UC Board of Regents approved the plan over Brown's objections.
The agreement also includes:
— Boosting the university's base budget by 4 percent in each of the next four years, a total of $507 million by the time Brown leaves office in January 2019.
— Holding tuition steady for in-state undergraduates and graduate students pursuing academic degrees until the 2017-18 academic year, when it would be increased “by at least the rate of inflation,” according to Klein. The university still will be allowed to increase the $972 “student services” fee all students pay by 5 percent, or $48 this fall.
— Allowing the university to enroll more out-of-state and international students at seven of its nine undergraduate campuses. Napolitano said she plans to cap the number at UCLA and UC Berkeley, where non-residents already account for about one in five undergraduates.
— Raising the tuition premium for non-Californians by up to 8 percent in each of the next five years, from $22,878 this year to as much as $35,013 in 2019-20. The premium comes on top of the in-state rate of $11,220.
— Increasing tuition by at least 5 percent for all professional degree programs except for UC's five law schools. Graduate nursing programs at four campuses would go up by 20 percent.
Brown's revised budget also increases funding for the 23-campus California State University system by $38 million above the $120 million he allocated in January. The system is expected to use the additional funds to enroll 1,500 more community college transfer students by next spring and to get more students to earn their bachelor's degrees in four years.
The higher education segment receiving the largest increase is California's sprawling 112-campus community college system, which is funded under the same voter-approved initiative that dedicates a certain percentage of the state budget to K-12 schools. The revised budget adds $619 million to the $1.1 billion in new funds Brown earmarked for community colleges in January.