Angelides' campaign statements and his long record of support for education have earned him the backing of some higher education advocates, including an endorsement from the California Faculty Assn., a union that represents more than 20,000 Cal State professors, librarians and others.
"When we met with him, he convinced us that he really does understand public higher education in this state," said John Travis, a political science professor at Humboldt State and president of the union. "He speaks frequently about the value of the state's colleges and universities and their importance to the economy."
Others involved with the issue, however, said they were not convinced that Angelides' proposal to reduce student fees was the best way to help needy students.
"I'm all for better controls on fees, but a rollback could just set everyone up for a bigger hit in the future," said Patrick M. Callan, president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education in San Jose.
Callan noted that generalized fee cuts tend to help middleincome students more than poorer ones because they provide a subsidy of sorts to students whose families can more easily cover college costs.
But Callan also criticized Schwarzenegger's roller-coaster record on fees.
"Tuition increases should be moderate and predictable and linked to family income," Callan said. "The governor hasn't done anything to bring rationality or predictability to this."