Usually, we talk about what happened in the UC system last week or stories written about other UC schools in UC Roundup.

But this week, since the UC Regents met at UC Santa Barbara, we decided to take a look at what the Regents are doing—since it only affects the entire system and since they control most of the money.

*First Off…Chancellors’ Spouses Able to Use Purse*
For a long, long time, the spouses of the various chancellors of the UC system have conducted special “hostess” type events. They’ve gone around to fundraisers, they make appearances, but didn’t really get much compensation for it.

Not anymore. The Regents approved to expand the benefits of the most active of chancellors’ spouses.

Under the new policy, the top leaders’ spouses who are significantly involved in promoting the university will be reimbursed on all university-related travel and entertainment and costs associated with cell phones and other portable electronic devices. They will also be able to use a university laptop, and receive business cards, a UC parking permit, travel insurance and workers compensation coverage. They will not receive a salary.

Aw shucks. No salary? At least they get a card with the nice UC seal on it.

*No Vote on Tobacco*
The Regents postponed a vote that may have banned professors from accepting money from tobacco companies.

Instead the Regents through out the ‘C’ word—compromise.

One option would have faculty committees evaluate grant proposals for tobacco industry funding and monitor whether the research is used responsibly.

Another would let departments and other school divisions decide not to take tobacco money.

The question that UC administrators and UC faculty bring up is whether or not a ban on receiving funding from Big Tobacco is an infringement on academic freedom.

What about the public’s right to know that research done by UC isn’t being skewed by tobacco companies?

*Yaay! More Fees!*
UC professional sent a proposal to the Regents last week, asking them to change the structure of the graduate school fee policy. This would mean that there could be a substantial fee increase for UC’s graduate schools.

Under this new policy, fee levels would be set by each individual campus.

Haas and Boalt are asking for a huge fee increase.

UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and the Boalt Hall School of Law have requested the largest increases, asking for fees to be raised to $44,154 for the graduate business program in 2010-11 and $43,932 for Boalt Hall graduate students in the same year.

We, as undergraduates, always bitch and whine about fee increases, but what about the grad students? Don’t they deserve some help too? Where can they bitch?

*Regents Complain About Budget Cuts*
So, the California state legislature and not the state’s governator is looking like the bad guys when it comes to UC’s budget.

Governor Terminator promised UC a four percent increase in its budget for the upcoming fiscal year. However, the state legislature is looking to cut the budget by $2 billion. That would mean only a three percent increase in the budget, instead of the promised four percent, and a loss of about $30 million.

And if UC loses $30 million, it might mean an increase in student fees.

Regent John Moores said the proposed $30 million decrease could potentially result in a fee increase.

“Once again, the university may have to consider raising fees, as distasteful as it is,” he said.

Great. Who would have thought that we would want the Governator to win a battle against the state legislature?

But of course, the Regents have their hands tied. That letter they sent to Sacramento is the only thing they can do to stop this. Kind of sucks, huh?

UC Professional Schools Recommend Higher Fees [Daily Cal]
Regents: Proposed Budget Cuts Would Violate Compact [Daily Cal]
Traditional roles shift for college leaders’ spouses [SignOnSanDiego]
UC professional programs face steep fee hikes [SignOnSanDiego]
Compromise sought on taking tobacco money [SF Gate]


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