uc_color_logo.jpgIn a move that disgruntled many students, the University of California Board of Regents Thursday morning approved an 8 percent tuition hike for schools system-wide.

Effective fall 2011, tuition fees for UC campuses will total $11,124 per year.

The proposal was approved by the majority of regents, but not by everyone.

Charlene Zettel, Darek DeFreece, Odessa Johnson, student Regent Jesse Cheng, and Lt. Gov. Abel Maldanado voted no on the tuition hike.

“Have we exhausted everything before we increase fees on students? In my heart I don’t feel that we have,” Maldonado said, adding in regards to UC staff salaries, “If raising fees is our only choice, are we going to cut at the top, too?”

Regent Eddie Island said, “The time I’ve been on the board, if we enact this increase, fees will have increased 50 percent. Shame on us.”

He said, “What we are doing is accelerating the velocity toward the destruction of something that we all hold dear.”

Hundreds of University of California students protested the fee hikes at the regents’ meeting on Wednesday at UC San Francisco’s Mission Bay campus. Thirteen were arrested for getting rowdy with police.

“It was an angry and unruly and aggressive crowd,” UCSF police chief Pamela Roskowski said about the Wednesday protests.

Several students were arrested on misdemeanor charges, while one UC Merced student faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon for hitting an officer with his own baton.

Protests outside the Mission Bay campus remained quiet Thursday morning, but several students and faculty still spoke during the public comment section at the regents’ meeting.

“This 8 percent raise represents a painful, cumulative increase of 40 percent,” Katherine Hasnain, a UC Berkeley student said. Before today’s increase in tuition, the UC system had seen a 32 percent increase in undergraduate tuition since the 2009 academic year.

The board also approved a proposal by UC President Mark Yudof to provide grants for undergraduates with household incomes of less than $120,000 to cover the tuition hike for one year.

At a news conference after the meeting, Yudof said officials would be looking into tuition raises as part of a long-term policy.

“You can’t look at the last 30 years and be at all confident you’re ever going to avoid a fee increase,” he said.

Yudof said students and others inflamed by the increase should write their local senators and congressmen. He and several regents said all options had been explored, but an 8 percent tuition raise was one of the only ways to provide relief to a budget shortfall of about $1 billion.

Saul Sugarman, Bay City News

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