UC leaders said it would have been unseemly to approve a tuition hike during the coronavirus emergency. The proposal would have hiked tuition by $606, or 4.8 percent, for next fall's freshmen.
Tuition hike proposals met opposition from Gov. Newsom and students. No clear majority on UC board of regents.
A UC faculty group is studying whether to drop SAT and ACT, overhaul them or substitute other tests as application requirements.
Janet Napolitano will leave the UC presidency in August 2020 with a generally positive legacy.
The new policy would allow UC's nine undergraduate campuses to seek recommendation letters and other information from up to 15 percent of their freshman applicants. The change will be monitored to see if it hurts low-income and minority students.