February 2015 Assembly Budget Committee Presentation on UC is Misleading

At the February 18, 2015, Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance meeting, the agenda included a short report on UC’s budget. The report is misleading for 4 reasons:

• The University had already been cut by 18% between 2000-1 and 2007-8, well before most of the other agencies were cut after 2007-8, making 2007-8 an artificially low base year for UC.

• The growth in the UC total budget includes massive increases in tuition paid by students, as well as increases in funding from non-state sources (hospitals, federal and other sponsored projects, student housing, parking garages, etc) that are not available to support core academic functions that have been historically supported by the state.

• UC enrollment grew by 15% during this period, so, allowing for inflation, UC’s core costs would be expected to increase by 29%-36% (depending what measure of inflation is used).

• Using a more appropriate base year of 2000-1 (before the large cuts to higher ed), shows state funding for UC was cut 31% and CSU was cut 10% from where they were in 2000-1, despite substantial enrollment growth.


Below is a table from the report with a column added showing the percent change in state funding since 2000-01, which paints a very different picture for state funding of higher education.  Using the more appropriate 2000-1 base shows that state funding to UC declined more than the other departments in the report’s table (data for the chart above and the final column below comes from the Legislative Analyst’s Office).

State Agency 2007-08 2014-15 % Change % Change in state funding since 2000-01
UC Overall $19,207,958 $26,910,722 +40% *
UC Core Funds $5,427,851 $6,909,878 +27% -31%
Courts $3,760,630 $3,631,827 -3% -24%
Department of Social Services $9,014,213 $6,994,519 -22% -26%
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation $10,032,411 $9,967,036 -1% +154%
California State University $6,836,696 $8,488,925 +24% -10%
State General Fund $102,985,674 $107,987,028 +5% +2%
*Excluded because most of this money is non-state funds that are not available to support UC’s core academic mission.


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