Crowd: "Our university!"
Student after student from campus after campus spoke for two hours. UC Davis sophomore Nikko Reynoso criticized the budget cuts, tuition increases and what she called "police brutality."
Reynoso: "These cuts and this climate will disproportionately affect the working class, students of color and other marginalized groups."
Once the board ended the unusually long public comment period, groups of Occupy protestors at Davis, UC San Francisco and UCLA interrupted the teleconference:
Occupy Student, followed by crowd chanting in response: "Is it possible … for the facilitators … to stand in the front of the room … for everyone else to move to the front … and to please turn the speakers down!"
That forced regents at all campuses except UC Merced to move into alternate rooms. When the meeting restarted, the board signed off on UC President Mark Yudof's proposed salary increases for about a dozen top executives.
Yudof: "We do not do this lightly. We do not do it often. But sometimes, we need to bring salaries into line with what other institutions are paying so that we can retain critical staff."
Regents also approved a spending plan for next year that relies on $400 million more from the state than the UC is getting right now. But there's no guarantee lawmakers will give the university what it's asking for - and no idea on where the UC would get the money from if they don't.
After the regents meeting, nearly 200 students, faculty and union members occupied a building at UC Davis. The university said the group was peaceful and business at the building continued as usual.