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University Of California President Napolitano Debunks Rumors Of Tuition Hikes

Janet Napolitano is president of the University of California system. She served as Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013

University of California President Janet Napolitano says the state could do more for higher education, but the overall outlook is positive. Napolitano addressed a Public Policy Institute of California forum in Sacramento Monday.

Napolitano says statements at last week’s Board of Regents’ meeting about the possibility of lifting the UC tuition freeze have been overblown and there will be no fee increase forthcoming.

“We want to keep tuition as low and predictable as possible and it is frozen through the 14-15 school year,” says Napolitano.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposes spending $142 million on higher education, which is a five percent spending increase. The proposal is dependent on the tuition freeze staying in place.

Napolitano said the state can and should do more for colleges and universities. But, she says if that doesn’t happen, the UC will look for more donations from the private sector to make up for some of the 30 percent of state cuts to higher education during the Great Recession.

She says the UC’s two biggest costs are retiree health benefits and pensions and capital improvements at campuses and medical centers.

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