Academic departments instructed to cut $17 million

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer's March 29 letter »

Read the opening statement sent to department deans and division leaders regarding budget cuts for the 2012 fiscal year.

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In a letter sent to campus deans and department leaders under the direction of the office of Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer March 29, division heads have been instructed to make a total of $17 million in budget cuts to their departments as the campus attempts to tackle a potential $30 million deficit for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

In the letter, Breslauer said that because the state cut $500 million to the UC - with UC Berkeley being hit with $70 million to $80 million in cuts - the campus would potentially be looking to find between $102 million and $112 million in revenue to meet the campus's needs.

Though Operational Excellence is meant to help combat the cuts, Breslauer said the campus would still have to self-fund approximately $32 million of needs, including faculty salaries, workers' salary increases, utility payments, benefits and retirement contributions.

"In order to reduce the burden on unit budgets to the extent possible, the campus will use, on a one-time basis, $30 million (or 50 percent) of central reserves that are currently set aside for self-insurance purposes," he said in the letter. "This leaves a balance of $30 million to be recovered from all of the campus control units ... with units reporting to the EVCP to contribute $19.5 million."

The executive vice chancellor and provost's immediate office would have to cut $2.5 million from its 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," Academic Senate Chair Fiona Doyle said 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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