I’m writing to share UC news on several fronts — and to ask for your help.
First, the state budget debate in Sacramento is now beginning in
earnest. Last Friday, the governor issued a “May Revise”
that is very favorable for the University — restoring $305 million in
previous cuts to the UC budget, providing $51 million to support access
for 5,100 students, and offering funding for critical capital
facilities construction. It also fully funds the Cal Grant program.
But the budget proposal also contains serious cuts in other areas of
state spending, and the Legislature is going to face some extremely
difficult choices this summer as a result.
The budget for UC in the May Revise and the funding of Cal Grants are
both critical to the University and its students. The funding level
proposed by the governor is needed to maintain student access and
course availability, protect financial aid, cover inflationary cost
increases, and reduce our need to resort to even more program cuts and
employee layoffs in 2010-11.
Please take action today by writing your representatives in the
Legislature and urging them to support the governor’s budget for higher
Even if the governor’s May Revise for UC is adopted, UC still faces a
sizeable gap between its needs and its resources. So, second, this
week I am calling on our top staff to embark on a new and expanded
phase of efficiencies at the University, building on the remarkable
progress already being made across the system.
As I’ve said since the beginning of the state fiscal crisis, we at UC
need to do our part to find solutions. Already our efficiency efforts
are achieving nearly $250 million in cost savings across a variety of
fund sources, allowing us to improve service in some areas, redirect
dollars from administrative costs to our academic and research
missions, and help fill the budget gap that remains even if the
governor’s May Revise is adopted by the Legislature.
We’re now going to push these efficiency efforts into new areas (see
box). This won’t solve our state budget problem — but it will help
preserve UC’s quality in a period of severe fiscal stress. You’ll be
hearing more details about these efforts in the coming months.
Finally, we are releasing this week our second annual report giving the
public a window into the performance of the UC system. The UC Annual
Accountability Report pulls together, in one place on the web, data
showing how well we’re doing in areas such as affordability, student
success, research innovation, and diversity, among many others. It’s a
critical part of the transparency we owe the people of California as
their public research university.
As the state budget debate heats up this summer, I hope you’ll stay
engaged and express your support for public higher education to the
decision makers in Sacramento. California and the world are going to
experience an epoch of major transformation in the coming decades, and
I truly believe that the University of California represents the
state’s best shot at coming through those decades as a dynamic,
innovative, and competitive society. Thank you.
Mark G. Yudof
University of California
Note: Although I read all e-mails, I am not able to respond personally
to every one. I encourage you to follow me on Facebook:
http://capwiz.com/uc4ca/utr/1/FVZRMNYZUH/MDEPMNYZZS/5222643371 where you can share
your ideas and look for answers
to many of your questions.
State budget need for 2010-11:
* $370 million to restore one-time cuts in this year’s budget and fund
some of UC’s 15,000 unfunded students
* Full funding of Cal Grants to preserve college affordability for students
* $355 million in capital construction funding to create jobs, address
critical seismic safety issues and build facilities to meet student
Efficiencies already realized:
* Restructuring of risk management costs
* Restructuring of internal investment pool
* Strategic purchasing
* Restructuring of Office of the President
* New insurance programs
* New systemwide travel program
* Other financial restructuring
New phase of efficiency efforts:
* Further campus administrative streamlining
* New e-procurement, IT, energy efficiency initiatives
* Expanded use of shared services across UC system