The California State University approved a 12 percent tuition increase Tuesday for the 2011-12 school year that is designed to offset a larger-than-expected budget reduction of more than 20 percent.
The annual increase of $588 – approved by the CSU Board of Trustees by a vote of 13-2 – is in addition to a 10 percent increase that was already approved for the upcoming school year.
However, the hike will allow all 23 campuses to allow spring transfers, according to CSU Chancellor Charles Reed, which was good news to many community college students throughout the state. One-third of the new revenue will also be used for financial aid.
“The enormous reduction to our state funding has left us with no choice if we are to maintain quality and access to the CSU,” Reed said.
Another CSU official reiterated that the increase was necessary to avoid cuts that could prevent tens of thousands of students from attending school this year.
“These are not easy choices,” board Chairman Herbert Carter said. “We don’t take great delight in doing this. We do it because we think it is in the best interest of the young people of this state that this university be available to them.”
California’s newly adopted state budget saw CSU funding cut by $650 million. The system could potentially lose another $100 million if revenue expectations are not met.
Annual tuition will rise to $5,472 for in-state undergraduate students. There will be increases of $678 and $720 for credential program students and graduate students, respectively.
About 50 students protested outside the meetings in Long Beach, carrying signs that read “Fund instruction, not corruption” and “No cuts, no fees.”
“We are vehemently disappointed in what has happened today,” said Gregory Washington, president of the California State Student Association. “The sad truth is that California isn’t prioritizing its higher education.”
After the vote, the board approved a $400,000 compensation package for Elliot Hirshman, the new president of San Diego State University. The package is $100,000 more than what Stephen Weber received, Hirshman’s predecessor.
The move came under fire from Gov. Jerry Brown, who questioned in a letter to Carter whether Hirshman should be payed twice as much as the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
CSU officials defended their move, saying that the university needs to provide competitive compensation retain top administrators. But Carter understood the governor’s concerns and stated that a task force will review the CSU’s policies on selection and payment of administrators.
Similarly, the University of California’s Board of Regents is expected to vote Thursday on a measure to also increase tuition by 9.6 percent. This would be on top to the already-approved 8 percent hike for the 2011-12 school year. If passed, the annual UC tuition would rise $1068 to $12,192 for in-state undergraduates.