Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) today issued the following statement regarding University of California President Janet Napolitano’s decision to not admit undergraduate students who are California residents due to budget uncertainties. Cannella also participated in a Joint Legislative Audit Committee and Assembly Higher Education Committee meeting this morning, voting AYE to request an audit be immediately completed but opposing a motion to delay the audit until July 2015.
“First and foremost, the UC has a responsibility to provide a world-class, affordable education for California residents, and I have said time and again, we can’t continue to punish our students and their families because the UC cannot seem to balance its budget,” said Cannella. “President Napolitano’s decision to deny California residents admission to the UC, and instead, admit out-of-state students for their higher tuition, sends a clear message that California residents are being placed in the backseat – while UC regents demand more money from the state.
“I don’t necessarily object to increases in state funding, but the UC is obligated to serve California residents first. Sadly, this isn’t happening. There must be more oversight, transparency and accountability in the budget process – if the UC demands more money, we not only have the right to know where that money is being spent, but we have the responsibility to ensure California residents are first in line to receive an education.”
Last December, Senator Ricardo Lara (D- Bell Gardens) and Cannella introduced Senate Constitutional Amendment (SCA) 1, an amendment that would require more transparency and fiscal accountability from the UC.
“SCA 1 will give the Legislature and the public the power to hold UC responsible and accountable while maintaining their academic independence, allowing them to focus on what’s important – providing a world-class, affordable education for Californians,” said Cannella. “I look forward to working with fellow colleagues and the UC to ensure this educational institution remains a university for Californians, first.”