The new California budget call for $650 million in cuts to the UC systems -- I understand $500 million had already been planned, they added $150 million on top of that, and may add more later if the revenue numbers don't pan out.
I'll admit that as a long-time CA resident (that's where I grew up), and a UC Berkeley alum (for grad school), it pains me to hear this. I'm very sympathetic to statements such as this one quoted in this San Francisco Chronicle piece:
"Some students don't even call the increases "tuition" anymore, but tax increases. They say state lawmakers are deceptive in claiming to have passed the budget without raising taxes."
I grew up in a California where we really believed we were a shining vanguard for the rest of the nation -- and the UC system was a very big part of that. By the time I left California I, at least, didn't have that feeling about the state any more. And these cuts, of course, are painful to hear.
I don't mean to make it sound like the UCs are dead -- they have too many brilliant faculty to count, and will continue to attract many top students. But it seems to me they are being weakened, perhaps (and I hope not) even crippled longer term. I hope that this is just a historical blip, and California's greatness -- including vibrant, powerful, and more healthy UC and CSU systems -- will be on full display the rest of the century.
Michael Goodrich (who I've had the pleasure of working with lately) has suggested that all this points to (high) double-digit percentage increases in UC tuition coming up. He pointed me to several news bits from the UC news site on the cuts generally and tuition specifically, including this, this, and this, and pointed me to the UC Regents site, where you can find things like the minutes to their meetings.