Chancellor Birgeneau Issues Budget Call Letter

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Correction Appended

The campus released this morning Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's March 22 budget call letter to vice chancellors for the 2011-12 fiscal year, estimating a $102 million to $112 million budget shortfall that will require the campus to tap into central reserves.

Of the $500 million that Gov. Jerry Brown has designated to be cut from the University of California as a whole, Birgeneau's letter states that the UC Office of the President has asked the campus to take a hit of between $70 million and $80 million. The remainder of the shortfall comes from about $32 million that will be paid toward faculty merits, represented workers' salary increases, purchased utilities, benefits and retirement contributions.

The letter states that in order to meet this financial strain, the campus has decided to utilize on a one-time basis $30 million from central reserves that had been set aside for self-insurance purposes.

The campus plans to generate another $40 million to $50 million through plans that are already under way, including Operational Excellence - an initiative targeted to save $75 million annually through cost-cutting - as well as previously decided tuition increases and funds generated by the campus's decision to increase the number of out-of-state and international students.

Still, after these measures, the campus would still be left with a $30 million hole to be "recovered from units" in 2011-12, according to the letter.

"We strongly encourage you to take this opportunity to examine the reserves and carry forward balances that you have at your disposal within control units to replace the withdrawn funds as well as to eliminate deficits and to self fund any new initiatives," Birgeneau said in the letter.

Vice chancellors must submit their "high-level financial projections" by April 25 for the campus budget hearings that will be held between May 10 and 19.

"I call upon everyone on the campus to continue working together to identify and implement new, more efficient and cost-effective ways of doing business," Birgeneau said in the letter. "We must streamline, consolidate, and restructure wherever possible, eliminating services that are not critical to our mission."

Correction: Sunday, April 3, 2011
A previous version of this article misspelled Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's name.

The Daily Californian regrets the error.

Emma Anderson is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected]

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