Provost requests millions in cuts

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Campus units under the office of Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer - including the College of Engineering and the UC Berkeley School of Law - are being asked to slash $17 million in total from all of their budgets for the 2011-12 fiscal year, according to a March 29 letter from Breslauer.

As the campus faces potential $102 million to $112 million dollar deficit next year - $70 million to $80 million due to state funding cuts added to the $32 million which the campus must pay toward needs like faculty salaries, workers' salary increases and utility payments - department heads are being asked to find solutions.

The campus plans to fill the hole with $40 million to $50 million from efforts already in place, such as Operational Excellence and student fee increases, and will also use $30 million - or 50 percent - of central reserves currently set aside for self-insurance purposes. This leaves about $30 million which the campus still needs to recover to combat the deficit.

Of this $30 million, $19.5 million must be slashed from the units under Breslauer, according to his letter.

"The current financial picture continues to be full of unknowns about our future," Breslauer said in the letter. "We ask that you tap into your unrestricted reserves (carry-forwards and funds functioning as endowments (FFEs)) in order to meet this commitment, given that the campus has no further appetite for faculty and staff furloughs as the mechanism for generating temporary funds."

The Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost's immediate office would have to cut $2.5 million from their budget alone, with the remaining $17 million being distributed among the campus units that are under the office's direction.These departments include the College of Letters and Science, the campus division of the Academic Senate and the campus library system.

The departments have until April 22 to submit proposals on how they plan to cut from their budgets.

"No, I don't think that it's reasonable that the state of California, with its strong economy, doesn't

have the will to raise enough taxes to invest in high quality education for its young people, especially given all of the data that point to a significant return on such investments when those educated citizens enter the workforce," said Academic Senate Chair Fiona Doyle in an email. "But I believe in fairness, and that includes taking one's fair share of cuts. Like other units, the Senate has some carry-forward funds; this is standard, responsible practice, to provide a cushion for a 'rainy day.' Well, it's now pouring, so we'll have to use our rainy day funds."


Katie Nelson is the lead academics and administration reporter. Contact her at [email protected]



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