An Open Letter to UC Students
From Bob Meister,
President, Council of UC Faculty Associations
Professor of Political and Social Thought, UC Santa Cruz
(A PDF of this document is also available.)
As students, you pay tuition in order to get an education at UC, and you know that the Regents plan to raise your tuition even higher. You may think that the tuition you pay is primarily or exclusively used for instruction, but this is not its only use. UC recently sold more than $1.6B in highly rated bonds one month after declaring an “extreme financial emergency.” Why is its bond rating excellent, even after UC says that without cutting employee pay it will have difficulty paying its bills? The single most important reason that UC has an excellent bond rating, much better than the state’s, is that it can now raise your tuition at will. Your tuition is UC’s #1 source of revenue to pay back bonds, ahead of new earnings from bond-funded projects, which do not even come second. The bond interest UC now pays will be $300M this year, and is projected to go way up as UC greatly increases the private capital it raises through tuition-backed bonds over the next decade. UC should disclose its plans to issue new tuition-backed bonds before you are asked to accept this year’s 32% tuition increase, which will automatically become part of the collateral for those bonds.