The state Senate overwhelmingly reconfirmed four members of the University of California Board of Regents Friday, but not before raising concerns over the university’s increasing enrollment of out-of-state and international students.
Regents Richard C. Blum, Norman J. Pattiz and Richard Sherman were reconfirmed for another 12-year term by a vote of 29-3, while regent Monica Lozano was reconfirmed in a separate vote of 31-0.
During a floor debate preceding the votes, several senators criticized UC for its growing recruitment efforts outside California, which The Sacramento Bee reported on last week. Nonresident students pay an extra annual fee of almost $23,000 that allows UC campuses to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
“That admission just to get money is a disgrace,” said Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, reminding the regents that the Legislature and the governor control much of the UC’s budget.
“There is an arrogance in those institutions of higher learning that they can just do whatever they want and they will get funding,” he said. “That arrogance needs to be tempered a little bit.”
UC campuses have said that cuts in state funding initially prompted them to expand their population of out-of-state and international students.
Sen. Mark Wyland, R-Solana Beach, expressed concerns that educating more overseas students might be a national security risk and drive jobs abroad.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, defended the policy, acknowledging that “the differential tuition or fee, in some instances, is compelling.”
But he also challenged the university to make a “comparable effort to recruit highly qualified African-American, Latino and southeast Asian students” from underserved communities in California.