INITIATIVE MEASURE TO BE SUBMITTED DIRECTLY TO THE VOTERS
The Attorney General of California has prepared the following circulating title and summary of the chief purpose and points of the proposed measure:
(Here set forth the unique numeric identifier provided by the Attorney General and circulating title and summary prepared by the Attorney General. Both the Attorney General’s unique numeric identifier and the circulating title and summary must also be printed across the top of each page of the petition whereon signatures are to appear.)
TO THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF STATE OF CALIFORNIA
We, the undersigned, registered, qualified voters of California, residents of Orange County, hereby propose amendments to the Constitution of California, relating to the University of California, and petition the Secretary of State to submit the same to the voters of California for their adoption or rejection at the next succeeding general election or at any special statewide election held prior to that general election or as otherwise provided by law. The proposed constitutional amendments read as follows:
The University of California Online
SECTION 1. The People of California find and declare all of the following:
SECTION 2. Section 10 is added to Article IX of the California Constitution, to read:
(a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(b) Notwithstanding Section 9, the Regents and the UCO President, appointed pursuant to subdivision (e), shall establish a separate online university – with its own president, faculty, budget, academic senate, and endowment – consisting of all publicly owned postsecondary courses, programs, and digital libraries to be known as the “University of California Online.” UCO will be comprised of the following two academic divisions:
Division I, the “free” division, shall authorize the public to audit all UCO courses, programs, and digital libraries at no cost and to question professors, access course books, course materials, and labs at cost.
(2) Division II, the “for-credit” division, shall authorize public access and attendance of all UCO for-credit courses and programs, including courses with labs. Students may earn full credit and full academic degrees. Enrollment shall be open to all who apply. Students may complete courses at their own pace. Division II shall have tuition and, if applicable, lab fees and out-of-state fees. Over time, tuition for Division II shall be set to cover all costs of both divisions. Tuition shall vary by course. Specific course tuition after reflecting UCO fixed, start up, and creation costs on a prorated basis, shall be based on the variable costs to create, deliver, and teach that specific course, amortized by the number of students. UCO may only pass on legitimate costs to students. Tuition and lab fees charged to students shall not exceed projected costs. Specific course tuition shall include specific course books and materials. Especially in the initial startup years: the UCO President shall base tuition on estimated costs and projections; with regards to establishing the fixed cost portion of tuition, the UCO President shall amortize long term fixed costs by the duration of the financing bonds authorized in paragraph (h). UCO’s line item cost accounting shall be transparent and publically viewable online.
(c) The Regents and UCO President shall ensure UCO Division II course curriculum is at least as rigorous as UC’s, fully accredited, and fungible with UC. The Trustees and the Governors shall ensure that UCO Division II course credit is accepted as fully accredited course credit in their respective segments. If a CSU and CCC course (or any other university course) meets UCO’s high standard, the Regents and the UCO President shall accept that course credit as UCO course credit.
(d) The Regents and the UCO President shall encourage, but not require, the use of lower cost or free open educational resources. The Regents and the UCO President shall establish a nonprofit textbook bookstore – to be known as the UCO Bookstore – of all UCO, UC, CSU, and CCC textbooks. The UCO Bookstore shall buy back used student books at a fair market price.
(e) The Regents shall appoint the UCO President with full power to create, implement, administer, and lead UCO. If the office of the UCO President is vacant for 180 days for any reason, the Governor shall appoint the UCO President. The UCO President shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing entity and shall be an ex officio member of the Regents.
(f) Although UCO is an online university, some courses may require the student to be physically present in a lab or academic setting. UCO is authorized to teach and deliver lab segments of classes offline and – notwithstanding paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) – in such cases the UCO lab professor shall dictate the lab’s schedule and pace. As student demand is identified for such labs, the UCO President shall contract with other entities, public or private, local to the students, as necessary, to meet this demand. UCO may require tests to be proctored, offline, in a physical setting. As student demand for proctoring is identified, the UCO President may contract with other entities, public or private, local to the student to meet this demand. Labs and proctoring are student costs.
(g). Notwithstanding paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), the Regents and the UCO President shall charge out-of-state Division II students – in addition to tuition -- out-of-state Division II student fees. The UCO President shall maximize these out-of-state Division II student fees. The UCO President shall use all out-of-state Division II student fee revenues to fund: merit based in-state Division II student scholarships; UCO, UC, CSU, and CCC student food pantries; need based in-state student housing. The UCO President shall: devise a merit based in-state Division II student scholarship program; make reciprocal agreements with UC, CSU, and CCC student food pantries; and devise a need based in-state student housing plan to apply such revenues.
(h). Once approved by the voters the Treasurer shall issue the appropriate bonds in an appropriate amount to fund UCO in its entirety. UCO shall repay these bonds from the tuition received.
Final Language adding Article IX, Section 10 to the California Constitution, as follows: