Across the country, rising tuition costs have made headlines over the last several years. California’s own flagship higher education system, the University of California, has seen unprecedented tuition increases over the past several years. It is often argued that the UC’s tuition increases were a response to decreasing state funding of the system. This article peeks behind the curtain of the University’s finances to determine whether these increases constitute the only possible response to the state’s decreasing financial support. We identify several relevant trends over the past decade, including the rise in prominence of medical centers within the system, a rapid increase in the number of non-medical school management employees relative to non-medical faculty numbers, stagnating non-medical faculty compensation and unabated spending on new construction.