Submission: An Open Letter to UC Regents Secretary and Chief of Staff Anne Shaw

Image taken from UC Board of Regents March 12 meeting livestream. Link here.

Editor’s Note: Anne Shaw is the Secretary and Chief of Staff to the UC Regents.

Dear Ms. Shaw,

I am writing today as a student leader at UC San Diego who is also an out-of-state student, regarding the increase in tuition that non-residents are facing once again this year and that the UC Regents will vote on tomorrow.

While I fully applaud the decision to hold tuition flat for residents in the coming year, I wish that the same basic respect for students’ finances was extended towards non-residents. California is the fifth largest economy in the world, bigger than the United Kingdom. In December 2018, Governor Jerry Brown estimated that the state of California had a budget surplus of $30 billion.

Increasing tuition for an education that is already too expensive for some folks is shameful. To raise tuition solely on non-residents is even more ethically corrupt. There are a lot of stereotypes about non-resident students, namely out-of-state and international students, being ultra-wealthy. The fact that we chose to attend UCSD seems to be perceived by the UC Regents as an open invitation to raise tuition because after all, if we wanted affordable education, we would have gone to college closer to home. That sort of thinking is, I believe, at the core of the non-resident tuition hike. It is discriminatory and prejudiced in every sense of those words.

I chose to come to UCSD because I believed that it would offer me a world class education and a different experience than my midwestern state of residency. I was willing to take on the debt that came with that choice. Last year, the UC regents voted 12–3 to increase the non-resident fee by $978 to $28,992. Now they want to increase it again. California has always been a progressive state, yet the UC Regents’ attitude towards non-resident students is as regressive as they come. I urge the Regents to make the right choice and end this unnecessary extortion of non-resident students, especially the same students who literally live in the shadows of massive, expensive construction that will not benefit us during our years on campus, but that our tuition dollars are funding.

There is no excuse for a wealthy state to raise tuition on any students. If public education is not a fiscal priority of our state government, then that government is failing its citizens.

Sincerely,
Liz Niculescu, UCSD ‘21

Liz Niculescu is a second year student studying Political Science at UCSD. She serves as Vice-President Internal of Warren College Student Council. This letter was first circulated on her Facebook page and has been edited for clarity.

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