UC Board of Regents discusses tuition fees, UC Health, small businesses

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During its virtual meeting on Thursday, the UC Board of Regents discussed UC Health’s strategic plan, a small business program and a tuition increase plan.

The meeting began with a public comment, raising concerns about the need for more staff and personal and protective equipment in UC hospitals and students who opposed the development of People’s Park and the alumni of Walnut St. Mills College of In 1921 the regents also called for no action to be taken – this would jeopardize the efforts of students and alumni to maintain the university during the public comment period.

Following public comments, the presidents of the UC Student Association (UCSA) and the UC Graduate and Professional Council spoke out against the tuition fee increase plan discussed later in the meeting.

“We are not against tuition increases just for the sake of the opposition,” said Aidan Arasasingham, President of UCSA, at the meeting. “We are against tuition fee increases because they undermine our fundamental vision for the UC, not as a private product but as a public good.”

The board also heard the strategic plan for UC Health from Carrie Byington, executive vice president of UC Health. The plan has 12 goals, including promoting diversity and inclusion, strengthening health policies and improving access to UC Health services in all locations.

Following the presentation, Regent Michael Cohen raised concerns about affiliation with UC Health. Several other regents also raised these concerns, particularly about what procedures are offered in hospitals and why certain procedures are not being given to patients.

Byington said not every hospital can perform every procedure, adding that a transition policy has been implemented in which she and the general counsel will review affiliation agreements.

The board then heard a presentation on the Small Business Forward program, which aims to increase spending on the UC system for small and diverse businesses and streamline the process for companies that want to use the UC system.

Small businesses have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said William Cooper, associate vice president and chief procurement officer, at the meeting. “With UC playing such an important role in the state economy, it is imperative that we give our small business a lifeline.”

Then the board heard a presentation about a cohort-based curriculum to increase tuition fees. The plan would increase tuition fees for each cohort of incoming undergraduate students and maintain them for that class for six years.

The proposal says it will help create more stability and predictability in tuition fees, revenue for the UC system, and financial support for students.

Student Regent-designate Alexis Zaragoza also expressed concern about the difficulties many low-income students are already facing in obtaining financial aid.

“There are a lot of students who fall between the cracks,” Zaragoza said at the meeting. “And the students who fall between the cracks are not so small that we shouldn’t pay any attention to them.”

Thereafter, the Special Nominations Committee announced that Regent Cecilia Estolano would be Chair of the Board of Directors and Regent Richard Leib as Deputy Chair next year.

The board concluded the meeting by adopting resolutions in honor of the outgoing regents, including alumni regent Eric Mart, student regent Jamaal Muwwakkil and alumni regent Debby Stegura. The board also passed a resolution in honor of the recently deceased board alumnus Bruce Varner.

Mela Seyoum is a reporter for the student government. Contact them at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @melaseyoum.



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