education's digital future

Jerry Brown tells UC regents they need 'heroic' moves to save money, such as online courses

Gov. Jerry Brown prodded University of California regents Wednesday to pursue online course offerings to reduce costs, saying they must "get more grounded" in their approach to education.

The Democratic governor's remarks came at a meeting of the UC system's governing board, which postponed a vote on fee increases at Brown's request.

Brown had said in his campaign to raise taxes that his initiative, Proposition 30, would avert tuition increases this year. The measure's passage, however, does not prevent universities from raising other fees.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom accused Brown during the campaign of making misleading statements about the extent to which tuition increases could be avoided. When Newsom pressed UC administrators Wednesday about the potential for future increases, Brown hardly contradicted him.

"The lieutenant governor's let the cat out of the bag" regarding choices facing policymakers, the governor said.

Brown characterized the university system as one requiring higher fees, additional general fund support or changes within the system to reduce costs.

"Tuition increases are not avoided by anything less than heroic efforts to make some changes that I think can be made if we have the political will," Brown said.

Newsom applauded Brown for his "remarkable leadership."

Proponents of online education say it could raise revenue and expand access to higher education.

Many professors have resisted offering online-only degrees, questioning the effectiveness of a Web-based education.....

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