The University of California Board of Regents Nov. 19 gave preliminary approval to UC President Janet Napolitano’s plan to increase enrollment of California undergraduates by 10,000 over the next three years, including 5,000 freshmen and transfer students in 2016-17.
The enrollment plan was approved by the Committees on Finance and Long Range Planning as part of their consideration of the university’s proposed operating budget for 2016-17. The full Board of Regents is scheduled to vote Friday on the budget and the enrollment plan.
“The University of California is committed to ensuring educational opportunity for current and future generations of students,” Napolitano said. “That imperative is the driving force behind the proposal to increase access for Californians, to sustain that expanded access and to maintain the excellence of what is commonly considered to be the best research university in the world.”
If the board approves the plan, all nine UC campuses that educate undergraduates will see a rise in enrollment of California residents, an increase made possible by a state budget allocation of $25 million, with an additional $25 million provided by the university.
UC intends to sustain the expanded access in the following two years, enrolling 2,500 additional California resident undergraduates in 2017-2018 and again in 2018-19, for a total increase of 10,000 students.
The university also is requesting an additional $6 million in state funding to enroll 600 more graduate students in 2016-17, and will seek to continue increasing graduate student enrollment at a proportionate rate for the following two years.
Increasing graduate enrollment is key to the success of the overall plan. As faculty are added, along with more undergraduates, graduate students will support faculty in the university’s research mission and assist with the teaching load associated with undergraduates.