* California public higher education coalition letter to Gov. Brown

Pasted below is the text of a union coalition letter that was sent today, December 15, 2014, to Governor Brown and other state leaders, as well as the leaders of the three higher ed systems.


Dear Governor Brown:

The escalating crisis in higher education requires a reaffirmation of
the State of California’s commitment to the Master Plan for Higher
Education. As key stakeholders representing well over 2 million
students, staff and faculty throughout the State’s three higher
education systems — California Community Colleges, California State
University and the University of California — we are ready to work with
your office, the State Legislature and university administrators to
address this crisis.

The Master Plan is in jeopardy. Tuition and administrative costs are
skyrocketing while enrollment of in-state students is not keeping pace
with the needs of our economy. The Public Policy Institute of California
maintains the state will need at least 1 million more graduates by 2025
to remain economically competitive. Unfortunately, our institutions
sorely lack both state support and accountability measures to meet these

Now is the time to implement a vision that can address the systemic
problems plaguing California’s ailing public colleges and universities,
as well as ensure that these institutions will continue to generate
middle-class jobs throughout the State of California. This includes
increased state investment, as well as making institutional reforms that
promote greater access, affordability, instructional quality, and
internal accountability. Broadly, this consists of increasing enrollment
to meet the needs of Californians; no tuition increases that exacerbate
the student debt crisis; smaller class sizes and greater instructional
support; reining in executive compensation; ceasing outsourcing of vital
services; and abandoning the idea that online education is the panacea
to state disinvestment.

We support the following guidelines for the 2015-16 budget cycle above
the anticipated augmentations to our institutions’ base budgets:

For California Community Colleges, the consensus proposal among
constituency groups for additional funding to ensure students receive
proper institutional support: $100 million for converting faculty to
full-time and extending part-time faculty office hours together with $25
million for professional development of faculty, staff and administrators.

For California State University, $127 million in additional funding to
support the enrollment of 10,000 more instate residents that will
provide greater access to the CSU system, the hiring of much needed
faculty to increase quality by decreasing class sizes, and more
instructional support staff to serve those students.

For University of California, funding to stop tuition increases and
support undergraduate enrollment targets of 5,000 additional in-state
residents, more student aid to defray the real cost of attending a UC,
smaller class sizes, resources to recruit and retain quality faculty and
staff, an end to lobbying and funding to oppose Research Assistant
collective bargaining rights, and no outsourcing of vital services since
bringing services in-house will decrease UC’s existing administrative
costs and increase quality overall.

As the 2015-16 budget cycle begins, we look forward to working closely
with you so that we can re-prioritize once again higher education within
the State of California.

• AFSCME 3299 — Kathryn Lybarger, President
• AFSCME UAPD — Stuart Bussey, President
• CCCI — Richard Hansen, President
• CFA — Lillian Taiz, President
• CSU-EU — Pat Gantt, President
• CUCFA — Joe Kiskis, VP for External Relations
• Teamsters 2010 — Jason Rabinowitz, Exec Director
• UAW 2865 — Michelle Glowa, President
• UAW 4123 — Richard Anderson, President
• UAW 5810 — Neal Sweeney, President
• UC-AFT — Robert Samuels, President
• UCSA — Jefferson Kuoch-Seng, President
• UPTE-CWA 9119 — Jelger Kalmijn, President

CC: Toni Atkins, Speaker, California State Assembly
Kevin de Léon, Pro Tem, California State Senate
Brice Harris, Chancellor, CCC
Janet Napolitano, President, UC
Timothy White, Chancellor, CSU