LONG BEACH -- California State University trustees on Wednesday approved a plan to raise tuition 5% next year should a November tax measure fail and trigger deep funding cuts to the 23-campus system.
The Board of Trustees, meeting in Long Beach, voted 11 to 3 to approve the plan with faculty representative Bernadette Cheyne, student representative Jillian Ruddell and state Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson opposed. The board's finance committee had approved the revenue-raising plan Tuesday.
Beginning January 2013, annual undergraduate tuition at the systems 23 campuses would rise to $6,270, not including school-based fees, books and other costs.
A small group of student protesters attended the meeting, chanting "No Cuts, No Fees, Education Should be Free."
Trustees also approved a plan to increase per-unit costs for nonresident students by 7%, from $372 to $399.
Prop. 30 would raise billions of dollars to help close the states budget deficit by temporarily increasing sales levies and income taxes on high earners. Some of the revenues would be dedicated to K-12 schools and colleges.
If the measure passes, Cal State would forego the January hike and also roll back a 9% tuition hike that took effect this fall and was expected to raise $132 million in revenue. The system would have to refund tuition checks, grant tuition credit and recalculate financial aid packages for most of its 412,000 students.
But it would receive $125 million in state funding as part of next years budget as well $50 million this year in one-time revenues from an extended education reserve fund.
Cal State officials said a mid-year funding cut would devastate the system, with about 20,000 qualified students turned away, 5,500 class sections slashed and 1,500 faculty and staff reductions.
Officials are also proposing to increase per-unit costs for non-resident students 7%, to $399 from $372.
If Proposition 30 passes, Cal State would forego the January hike and also rescind the 9% tuition hike that took effect this fall and was expected to raise $132 million in revenue.
The system would have to refund tuition checks, grant tuition credit and recalculate financial aid packages for most of its 412,000 students.
The finance panel approved the measures by a vote of 6 to 1, with student trustee Jillian Ruddell opposed.
The full board of trustees is expected to approve the plan Wednesday.
The University of California regents last week held a brainstorming session to determine how that system would deal with a potential $375-million funding cut if the tax hike measure fails.
The regents also said a midyear tuition increase, possibly as much as 20%, or about $2,400, could be possible.
At the Cal State meeting, several speakers, including Lillian Taiz, president of the California Faculty Assn., spoke against the revenue-raising measures, arguing that other options to save costs and increase funds had not been exhausted.
Several students spoke against the fee hike, noting that it was particularly distressing as incoming campus presidents receive such perquisites as salary hikes, car allowances and in many cases state-funded housing.
Cal State System to Hike Tuition 5% if Prop. 30 Fails
Tentative approval by CSU trustees comes amid fear that the tax measure will fail, triggering a $250-million funding cut.
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