On Thursday, Jan. 8, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. released his budget proposal for the State of California for the year of 2014. In it, the Governor proposes an ongoing increase of $1.3 million General Fund for Hastings College of the Law. If passed, this represents a total of $9.6 million, a 15.2% increase over 2013-14.
This news is welcome, and helps control the cost of tuition (which will remain flat for the third consecutive academic year in 2014-15).
Given the college’s decreased revenue due to the third and final year of our class size reduction program, however, the upcoming fiscal year continues to pose many challenges. Assuming legislative approval of the Governor’s budget, the increase will be used to reduce the college’s impending structural deficit.
Our five-year budget forecasts have anticipated and accounted for this increase. The growth in Hastings state appropriation came about as the result of negotiations modifying the formula used to calculate increases provided for under the Governor’s multi-year stable funding plan, such that benefits accruing to Hastings are on par with those afforded to other segments of higher education.
The strongest argument for state funding continues to be the public value and benefits of a quality legal education. When it comes to telling that story, our students and alumni are our best spokespeople. A “Hastings Day in Sacramento” is being planned by the Hastings Advocacy Committee (a student organization), in consultation with the ASUCH External Vice President, for March 5, 2014. More information will be provided.
-Frank H. Wu
Frank H. Wu
Chancellor & Dean