UC, CSU back off from proposals to hike fees

Damian Dovarganes/APStern words: Gov. Jerry Brown

Damian Dovarganes/APStern words: Gov. Jerry Brown

The governing boards of both the California State University and University of California systems on Tuesday heeded pleas from Gov. Jerry Brown to postpone proposed tuition increases.

After requests from the governor and students, the CSU board of trustees withdrew a set of proposed tuition hikes slated to be discussed and decided on at meetings Tuesday and today, said board Chairman Robert Linscheid.

Also Tuesday, the UC regents announced they were postponing, at Brown’s behest, a proposal to raise fees for several professional degree programs. The proposal had been slated for a vote at the board’s meeting today in San Francisco.

The proposals prompted Brown, who serves as board president of both university systems as part of his official duties, to make an unusual appearance at the CSU trustees’ meeting. He also said he planned to attend the UC regents’ meeting today.

He told reporters at the CSU meeting that his message was the same to both boards: Costs must be controlled and not passed along to students in the form of fee increases.

Fee hikes harm low-income students, he said, adding that he also questioned the timing of raising tuition a week after voters agreed to a quarter-cent sales tax hike and higher income taxes for wealthy Californians.

The 23-campus CSU system sought to create 18,000 enrollment slots by hiking fees for students who repeat courses, amass more credits than they need to graduate or  take more than a full-time course load. About 71,000 students would have been affected.

Administrators said the goal was to create an incentive to push students to graduate faster and free up space for incoming students.

The UC system, which has about 220,000 students at 10 campuses, had proposed raising tuition by as much as 35 percent for degree programs in business, nursing, public policy, theater, film and television.

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