Student Fee Advisory Committee

Chair Report, 2002-2003


The 2002-2003 academic year has been a productive though challenging year for the SFAC.  Due to substantial reductions in the Registration Fee budget for 2003-2004, the SFAC found it necessary to review the entire scope of Registration Fee-funded programs and services at UCLA as part of the budget process.  This effort took up a large amount of the committee’s effort and required that some business normally conducted during the regular academic year be addressed during summer.  In addition, the committee conducted an assessment of four units as part of the third year of the Services Assessment Team, completed work on several subcommittees and external committees, reviewed proposals for user and course materials fees, and participating in other activities as described below.




This year the committee was fortunate to have the full complement of members, four undergraduates, four graduates, two administrative representatives from Student Affairs, one other administrative representative, and one faculty representative.  These members showed dedication to the work of the committee and brought a variety of viewpoints and perspectives to the committee.  The members were supported by dedicated work from the SFAC advisor, the Chancellor’s ex-officio budget representatives, and the administrative support staff.  This year in particular, members were expected to read through a fairly voluminous amount of material related to budgets and budget plans.  In the future, it would be recommendable for the Chair to attempt to minimize the amount of paperwork as much as possible and for members to ensure that materials are consistently read ahead of time to increase efficiency during meetings. 




The SFAC orientation was held in September, prior to the start of Fall Quarter.  The orientation provided members with an overview of the university’s organizational structure and budget, the specific roles and responsibilities of the SFAC, and the existing budget situation within California and the UC, as well as an opportunity for members to meet one another.  Included in the orientation were remarks from the Chair, a presentation by the ex-officio member from Academic Planning & Budget, and comments and discussion from several administrators from the Student Affairs Organization and Academic Planning & Budget.  The SFAC also scheduled a meeting time for Fall Quarter, divided up work for the SAT process and addressed other logistical business.  The orientation was an effective and important part of introducing new members to the work of the SFAC.  In the future, it would be recommendable to allow more time for members to ask questions and ensure that everyone has some comprehension of the information covered.




The SFAC established several subcommittees this year: user fee policy, guiding documents review, town hall, temporary commitments subcommittee, and new budget requests.  Please see the continuity reports from the user fee policy and guiding documents review subcommittees for a summary of their work. 


The town hall subcommittee organized the SFAC ‘Town Hall’ in May 2003 (co-sponsored by the student governments) that provided students with specific information on the Registration Fee budget and a chance to voice their opinions and questions.  The work of this subcommittee was important in establishing a successful event.  A continuity report will not be submitted for this subcommittee as the Chair feels it is not necessary.


The temporary commitments and new budget requests subcommittees were created to review budgetary issues and provide the committee with recommendations in Summer 2003.  Due to the extensive time commitment required by reviewing the permanent Reg Fee budget for 2003-2004, the full committee had limited time to review existing temporary commitments and new budget requests, and thus the work of these two budgetary subcommittees in helping develop recommendations was necessary. (See additional information under “Budget Process” below.)   Continuity reports will not be submitted by these two committees due to the confidential nature of budget discussions in SFAC.


In addition to SFAC subcommittees, members also participated in two external budget committees: the Project Review Group and the Student Affairs Budget Review Team.  Please see the continuity reports regarding these two committees.  Overall, the work of the subcommittees and the SFAC members serving on external committees was instrumental for the SFAC in successfully conducting business during 2002-2003.


Services Assessment Team


This year the Services Assessment Team (SAT) conducted the third year (Cycle 3) of reviews of units providing services to students.  The units reviewed this year were Housing & Hospitality Services, the Registrar’s Office, the Center for Women & Men, and the LGBT Resource Center.  Each unit was assigned a two-person team, one undergraduate member and one graduate member, to conduct the review.  The SAT process consists of analyzing the self-study submitted by the units, learning in detail about the function and services of the unit, conducting site visits with representatives from the unit, and ultimately developing an SAT report on the units, including recommendations on how to enhance or improve services to students.  The Cycle 3 reports were submitted to the Chancellor in Summer 2003.


The follow-up review of Cycle 2 units (University Library, Career Center, Arthur Ashe Center, and Center for Student Programming) was delayed to the involved budget process.  [[insert comment on status of follow-up reports]]  Please see the SAT continuity report for additional information.


[[insert decision on Cycle 4, if necessary]]


Council on Student Fees


The UC Council on Student Fees (CSF) is a system-wide body comprised of representatives from the student fee committees at the various campuses.  The CSF has quarterly two- or three-day meetings.  This year, the CSF continued progress on several fronts, including ensuring that all of the campus committees have an empowered and appropriate role in decisions about Registration Fee funds and student fees, promoting policy at the statewide level, and providing support for campus-specific issues.  The CSF was successful in gaining support from the Vice Chancellors for Student Affairs for policies related to use of Registration Fee funds and the role of student fee committees on the campuses.  One priority agreed to by the campus representatives was to gain additional student input into how to address funding and student services in a year of budget reductions.  The SFAC Town Hall aforementioned in this continityu report was developed, in part, as a result of the CSF priority to gain additional student input.


The business and issues pursued by the CSF are important to UCLA students and to the SFAC specifically; the CSF provides a valuable forum for student participation and voice at the system-wide level.  Unfortunately, few UCLA SFAC members participated in the CSF this year even though the Winter meeting was hosted by UCLA.  The SFAC Chair attended two of the quarterly meetings and another UCLA SFAC member served (for the second year) as the Chair of CSF and was thus closely involved in all CSF meetings and business.   In addition to these two members, one other SFAC member attended part of one meeting.  In the future, it would be highly recommendable for more SFAC members to have involvement in the CSF.


User Fee Proposals


In academic year 2002-2003, the SFAC received four proposals for new or increased course materials fees.  In developing recommendations for each of these fees, the SFAC carefully reviewed the proposals, identified questions and concerns, and met with representatives from the academic units requesting the fees.


College of Letters & Science IEI fee


A proposal was received from the College of Letters& Science in Fall Quarter 2002 to increase the per unit Instructional Enhancement Initiative (IEI) fee charged to students enrolled in undergraduate courses offered by the College from $4 to $7 per unit.  Citing concerns about the cost to students, quality of services, and lack of student input into services and the proposed fee increase, the SFAC recommended against approval of the fee increase.  The Chancellor, citing a state budget reduction for technology funds that had prompted the College to request the fee increase, decided to temporarily approve the IEI fee increase until such time that the state restores the funding.  The Chancellor agreed with the SFAC request that the College produce a detailed evaluative report on the IEI.  The Chancellor and the SFAC in Spring Quarter 2003 received this report.  At the time of this writing, the SFAC has not formally reviewed or commented on the report.


School of Dentistry gown, instrument and sterilization fee


A proposal was received from the School of Dentistry in Spring Quarter 2003 to increase the $295 quarterly dental students gown, instrument and sterilization service fee by $99 per quarter.  The SFAC recommended approval of the fee increase, though did not recommend approving an automatic inflationary adjustment as requested by the School.  The committee felt that the fee increase was the most reasonable way to cover the costs of the services and input from the elected student officers in the dental school suggested that the students understand the need for the proposed increase.  The Chancellor approved the fee increase, without the automatic adjustment, and asked the School to review the adequacy of the fee after two years, per SFAC’s recommendation.


Performing arts general education cluster fee


A proposal was received from the School of Theater, Film and Television and the College of Letters & Science in Spring Quarter 2003 for a $307 annual fee for students enrolled in General Education Cluster 23 A/B/CW, “Inside the Performing Arts: Interdisciplinary Explorations of Performance in Society and Culture.”  The SFAC recommended approval of the fee, based on the unique curricular needs of the cluster and the efforts made by the School and the College to get discounted and group rates for performances, which would allow students enrolled in the cluster to attend a relatively large number of performances for the cost of this course materials fee.  The SFAC also offered recommendations on how information on the fee should be provided to students.  The Chancellor approved the fee and directed the College to provide information about the fee on the course Web site and in the Schedule of Classes.


School of Engineering technology fee


A proposal was received from the School of Engineering in Spring Quarter 2003 for a $7 per unit course materials fee for technology that would be charged to students enrolled in undergraduate courses.  Though the SFAC had reservations about the costs to students enrolled in HSSEAS undergraduate courses, it recommended approval of the fee because the information technology needs of the School, which will be receiving reduced general funding due to budget reductions, were important enough to justify this fee.  The committee also provided the following recommendations: students should have a substantive voice in the expenditures of the fee income and the services provided, the School should be asked to submit a two-year review on the fee to the SFAC, and that the School provide easily-accessible information on the fee and the services to students.  The Chancellor recommended approval of the fee for two years with a review prior to the end of Spring Quarter 2005 and asked the Dean to ensure adequate student members on the committee charged with reviewing the priorities and expenditures of the fee income.


Budget Process


The budget process this year was very involved.  Due to the state budget deficit, the Registration Fee budget in the university experienced a substantial reduction, which has greatly impacted the SFAC budget process. 


2002-2003 budget revision


For 2002-2003, the Registration Fee budget experienced a 5% mid-year reduction.  Because the committee had little time to consider various options for how this mid-year reduction should be enacted, and because of the need to devote time to planning for the 2003-2004 budget, the SFAC recommended that the 5% reduction be enacted on an across-the-board basis.  The various Registration Fee-funded organizations had been planning for the possibility of this reduction and for the most part the committee felt that the reduction would not result in extensive impacts on student services.  The Chancellor, in response, expressed his agreement with the across-the-board recommendation.


2003-2004 permanent budget


Most of the committee’s time during Winter and Spring Quarters was spent on the budget process.  For 2003-2004, the Registration Fee budget was expected to experience a reduction of approximately 20%.  Because this large reduction would result in meaningful and negative impacts on student services at UCLA, the SFAC decided to conduct a holistic review of the entire Registration Fee budget on campus in order to develop priorities among the various programs and services.  In January, the committee send out a request to all Registration Fee-funded organizations asking for detailed information on services, budget and funding sources, reduction plans, and programmatic priorities.  The information received from the organizations served to inform the committee as it discussed and deliberated during the budget process, though the nature and value of the information varied somewhat.  In some cases, the committee did not receive the specific information requested.


After extensively discussing and reviewing the services funded by the Registration Fee and communicating with the organizations on various issues and questions, the SFAC developed a detailed set of budgetary recommendations.  The recommendations provided the SFAC view on how the reductions should be enacted across all of the units and departments receiving Registration Fee funds.  The recommendations, along with background information and explanations, are presented in the June 4, 2003 letter to the Chancellor, “UCLA 2003-2004 Registration Fee permanent budget.”


2003-2004 temporary commitments


In addition to reviewing the permanent Reg Fee budget, the committee also reviewed the existing temporary commitments.  For academic years 2001-2002 and 2002-2003, the SFAC did not recommend any new temporary commitments.  However, there are a series of temporary commitments made prior to 2001-2002, as well as several temporary-continuing commitments that are allocated annually.  All of the temporary commitments are scheduled to expire after academic year 2003-2004.  After reviewing all of the temporary and temporary-continuing commitments, the SFAC recommended to continue funding everything at current levels, with the single exception of reducing the temporary-continuing funds earmarked for the Graduate Division for Student Receptions from $100,000 to $50,000.  At the time of this writing, the SFAC had not received a response from the Chancellor with regards to our recommendations on temporary commitments.


2003-2004 new budget requests


The Student Affairs Organization submitted a set of Reg Fee budget requests totaling $475,075 in temporary funds and $912,119 in permanent funds.  [[insert summary of SFAC recommendations]]



Respectfully Submitted,


Dean Gerdeman

Graduate Representative

July 16, 2003