TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, February 6, 2014

After Raising Tuition 175% Over Past Decade, UC-Davis Law School Gives Students Voice in Budget Decisions

UC-Davis LogoNational Jurist op-ed:  Bringing Students Into the Budgeting Process, by Brett C. Burns (Senior Assistant Dean for Administration, UC-Davis) & William F. Stanger (J.D. 2014, UC-Davis):

In 2003, attending the University of California, Davis, School of Law cost $17,195 per year. This academic year, students are paying $47,286.

Like many law schools in recent years, UC Davis has invested heavily in its academic reputation and student services. The School of Law has funded building renovations, classroom technology, Career Services and Academic Success programs, and hired outstanding, high-profile faculty in an effort to remain competitive among top law schools. The great majority of the revenue that finances these efforts comes from student fees and tuition. (Other revenues come from philanthropic giving and a shrinking state appropriation.)

Law students are raising their voices and objecting to the prospect of future fee increases. UC Davis School of Law, known for its collegial and collaborative environment, is addressing budget concerns in a manner true to its reputation. Last fall, after impassioned town-hall meetings between administrators and concerned students, Dean Kevin R. Johnson encouraged students to create the Student Budget Advisory Committee.

The Committee consolidates students’ voices and formalizes student participation in the budget process, providing feedback on Law School revenues and expenditures. ... While the formation of the Student Budget Advisory Committee is not a magic bullet for the rapidly rising cost of legal education, it is a respectable and appropriate step in keeping students engaged in the budget process at UC Davis School of Law.

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