The Daily Californian Online

UC Office of the President Proposes Cutbacks in Light of Revised Budget

By Anjuli Sastry
Daily Cal Staff Writer
Friday, April 1, 2011
Category: News > University > Higher Education

In an effort to reduce the impact of the UC system's expected $900 million budget shortfall for 2011-12, the UC Office of the President will reduce its annual operating costs by $50 million, returning control over certain programs to campuses as part of the plan.

The budget outline, which was presented at the UC Board of Regents meeting two weeks ago, will go into effect July 1 if approved at the Regents meeting in May. The proposal cuts $6.5 million in general administration, $3 million in central services and programs and approximately $40 million from mostly academic systemwide programs and initiatives such as research.

"These initiatives are designed to lower the $500 million (state) cut to something below $420 million, so each campus will have less to cut as a result of UCOP's action," said UC spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez in an email.

The UCOP initiative comes in light of Gov. Jerry Brown's announcement the same day that he had halted negotiations with state Republicans in the legislature over tax extensions that would have generated $14 billion in revenue for the UC system.

In particular, UCOP will attempt to cut its travel costs, equipment purchases and consulting and technology costs, according to a statement from the office released Tuesday.

The cuts also aim to eliminate overlapping functions between the UCOP and system campuses, returning financial and administrative decisions to a local level, Vazquez said. Additionally, the cuts get rid of redundant administrative oversight on campuses, giving chancellors more leeway to make decisions on how and where money is spent.

"All of the campuses in the system have been informed by UCOP and will take a cut on the order of size that will help mitigate cuts to campuses," said Paul Desruisseaux, vice chancellor for public affairs at UC Santa Barbara. "This is a big hit with or without extensions of taxes on the governor's part and is a big issue for campuses and UCOP to grapple with."

Starting in the 2007-08 fiscal year, UCOP has cut approximately $55 million from its annual budget and has also reduced general staff by about 30 percent.

Based on campus input, UCOP will continue to provide services such as payroll, treasury and a digital library. A small portion of revenue generated by system campuses will go to UCOP to pay for these services.

Additional decisions including campus-specific cuts and the centralized services that deal with the overall budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year will be presented by UC President Mark Yudof at the UC Regents meeting in May, Vazquez said.

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