Six weeks into her new job, the former Arizona governor and Secretary of Homeland Security is putting forth a four-pronged agenda.
First: a tuition freeze. “I’m very hopeful that our budget will accommodate enrollment growth and the pension contributions that are required and allow the university to continue to grow and freeze tuition for next year,” Napolitano told reporters during a break in her first Board of Regents meeting as UC President Wednesday in San Francisco.
Napolitano says that freeze depends – at least in part – on state funds, which are slowly starting to go back up after deep cuts during the recession. During the meeting, Governor – and UC Regent – Jerry Brown cautioned the university about how much money will be available from Sacramento. “When we get to the budget, you’re all gonna ask for a 10 percent increase, but you’re only gonna get a five percent increase,” Brown said.
Another top priority for Napolitano is easing the bureaucratic hurdles for incoming transfer students. “It’s very clear to me that that pipeline is not as streamlined as it needs to be, that there are a lot of things that get in the way of a smooth transfer, and that there’s a real desire out amongst the community colleges to have easier entrée into the UCs,” she said.