Capitol Alert

University of California delays start of tuition increase

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Gov. Jerry Brown, and University of California President Janet Napolitano listen to students speak during the November meeting of the UC Regents, who voted to raise tuition by as much as 5 percent in each of the next five years unless the state devotes more money to the 10-campus system.
Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Gov. Jerry Brown, and University of California President Janet Napolitano listen to students speak during the November meeting of the UC Regents, who voted to raise tuition by as much as 5 percent in each of the next five years unless the state devotes more money to the 10-campus system. The Associated Press

Amid ongoing budget discussions with the state, the University of California has postponed a proposed 5 percent tuition increase from summer quarter until the fall.

“We are doing this as a good-faith gesture, optimistic that the ongoing negotiations will bear fruit,” UC President Janet Napolitano said during a speech Wednesday at the University of Southern California, according to remarks provided by a spokesman. “As a matter of fairness, we want potential summer quarter students to enroll free from any uncertainty and unpredictability inherent in a fluid and still unresolved budget situation.”

UC approved a controversial tuition plan last November that would allow the university to raise tuition by up to 5 percent annually for each of the next five years unless the state kicks in more money than already promised. Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed an increase of $119 million to UC’s state funding next year, but the university is seeking an additional $100 million to “buy out” the tuition hike.

In a statement, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins said she was “pleased President Napolitano is beginning to walk back UC’s reliance on fee increases.

“With the Assembly beginning our top-to-bottom review of UC’s budget today, I am sure we will be able to identify savings, as well as increased state funding, that will help ensure UC remains a world-class treasure,” Atkins, D-San Diego, said.

Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.

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