It seems all that ruckus over increased tuition and budget cuts at University of California campuses might have hit home with the system's head.
UC President Mark Yudof hasn't yet been to the school's Santa Cruz campus since he took the helm 18 months ago and it could be a while until he does visit. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported Yudof canceled his day-long Monday date with UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, citing a publicity campaign for students who need financial help.
Here's Yudof's Nov. 24 letter to the school:
"Several of the issues discussed at last week's meeting of the UC Board of Regents require my attention here in Oakland, particularly the development of an enhanced information campaign to increase the statewide publicity as to the availability of the Blue and Gold Opportunity Program for low-income students. With fall quarter final examinations also right around the corner, I believe it best if we attempt to reschedule the visit for the winter quarter."
But protesters who took over the school's Kerr Hall after the UC Regents voted to increase tuition by more than 30 percent -- before Yudof's cancellation -- are taking credit.
UCSC grad student Don Kingsbury suggests Yudof was scared off by what he might have faced at the campus, saying the visit might have been, "heavily informed by the likely reception he would get here" and the greeting would include "angry students."
The tuition increase vote was met with angry demonstrations at several UC campuses, including UCSC and UC Berkeley. Protesters took over Wheeler Hall at the Cal campus for 11 hours, demanding the UC Regents reinstate jobs and rescind tuition hikes.
In the end, however, it looks like the protesters will still get the short end. Demonstrators will likely end up with the bill for the occupation and damage at the campuses.