Take Action to Support Higher Education

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

education; visit:


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/FCXTMNYZZR/5222643371 and Twitter:

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

enrollment demands

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


One response to “Take Action to Support Higher Education

  1. UC Berkeley (CAL). Chancellor sources $3,000,000 to hire consultants to do the work of his job then fires 900 with the assist of Operational Excellence (OE). Upset? A legacy of waste in UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Office: easily grasped by the public, lost on University of California’s President Yudof.
    The UC Berkley budget gap has grown to $150 million, & still the Chancellor is spending money that isn’t there on $3,000,000 consultants. His reasons range from the need for impartiality to requiring the consultants “thinking, expertise, & new knowledge”.
    Does this mean that the faculty & management of UC Berkeley – flagship campus of the greatest public system of higher education in the world – lack the knowledge, integrity, impartiality, innovation, skills to come up with solutions? Have they been fudging their research for years?
    The consultants will glean their recommendations from faculty interviews & the senior management that hired them; yet $ 150 million of inefficiencies and solutions could be found internally if the Chancellor & Provost Breslauer were doing the work of their jobs (This simple point is lost on UC’s leadership).
    The victims of this folly are Faculty and Students. $ 3 million consultant fees would be far better spent on students & faculty.
    There can be only one conclusion as to why inefficiencies & solutions have not been forthcoming from faculty & staff: Chancellor Birgeneau has lost credibility & the trust of the faculty & Academic Senate leadership (C. Kutz, F. Doyle). Even if the faculty agrees with the consultants’ recommendations – disagreeing might put their jobs in jeopardy – the underlying problem of lost credibility & trust will remain. (Context: greatest recession in modern times)
    Contact your representatives in Sacramento: tell them of the hefty self-serving $’s being spent by UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau & Provost Breslauer.
    Let there be light!

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