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UC's State Funding Battle Prompts Bid To Strip Its Independence

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

UC students protest outside a Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco last month.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

The next shot’s been fired in the fight over tuition and state funding between the University of California and state political leaders: a proposed constitutional amendment that would strip the UC of its independent governance structure.

First, the UC put pressure on the state by implementing five straight years of tuition increases unless it gets more state funding. Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders objected. Now, two state senators are playing their trump card. They’ve introduced a constitutional amendment that would give the Legislature oversight over the UC – just as it has for the California State University system.

The UC is not amused. “Autonomy for the University of California has been guaranteed in the constitution since 1878, and that has worked out very well for the people and the communities in every part of the state,” says Brooke Converse in the Office of the President.

The amendment would require a two-thirds approval in both chambers of the Legislature to move to the November 2016 ballot.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio