Archive for June, 2009

Latest Budget Update from the Chancellor

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

UCLA Office of the Chancellor


To: UCLA Faculty and Staff

Dear Colleagues,

I know that all of you have been following the increasingly complex and worsening financial situation facing California and its impact on present and future funding for the University of California. The purpose of this letter is to lay out the scope of the current problem and the values and priorities that will guide us in implementing painful cuts to our campus. A draft budget reduction plan is being developed for my review by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh in consultation with the Academic Senate, vice chancellors, the academic deans and faculty advisory committees.

I would like to state at the outset my commitment to maintaining and enhancing UCLA as one of the greatest institutions of higher education in the world. From its founding 90 years ago, our university has educated some of the most prominent leaders in business, the professions, academics and public service. The research done by our stellar faculty, supported by excellent staff, has reshaped our nation and the world.

The next year will be painful, and, frankly, this crisis will likely be a multi-year problem. But I know we will emerge stronger than ever.

What is the scope of the current problem?

Since the passage of the earlier state budget in February, California’s fiscal picture has declined dramatically, and the May election did not deliver relief. We have been forced to shift from plans to reduce our general funds budget next year by $33 million (about 5% for most units) to a cut of $132 million. For the fiscal year beginning July 1, this represents an approximate 17% reduction in our general funds allocation. I should emphasize that the situation is still fluid, but these are our most current figures.

How do we plan to respond to this unprecedented loss of funding?

First, the campus will receive approximately $15.5 million in additional funds from the approved 10% increase in the Education Fee paid by our students. Of this amount, about half is needed to fund mandatory cost increases for the upcoming year, leaving only $7.5 million to offset state budget cuts.

Second, the 5% reduction in campus expenditures that we had already planned will save $33 million.

Third, the salary reduction/furlough options proposed by the Office of the President will save UCLA approximately $30 million in state funding, if implemented on August 1.

Fourth, while we still have some reserves to temporarily assist with the shortfall, we must implement at least another $40 million in budget cuts to balance our books. Soon after the Regents’ meeting on July 16, we will send further information to our academic units regarding reductions and appoint task forces to advise on targeted cuts. We must take this deep and sobering reduction in a way that maintains our stature as one of the world’s great universities and ensures that UCLA continues to fulfill its public mission.

What must we preserve in order for UCLA to remain UCLA? Our “core” values.

As we consider significant reductions, the following principles and priorities will help guide our decisions. We must:

  • Continue to offer the very best undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to receive a world-class education. This means ensuring that our students progress toward their degrees and that students of all backgrounds receive the services and financial support they need to attend UCLA and flourish while they’re here. Our $500 million Bruin Scholars Initiative will play a key role in this effort; we have already raised almost $25 million.
  • Ensure that UCLA’s world-class faculty stays here, and continue to attract top scholars to our campus. A great university cannot survive without attracting and retaining scholars of the highest distinction. Becoming smaller, as I will outline later in this letter, does not mean growing weaker. We will do what it takes to increase faculty excellence.
  • Ensure that we support our outstanding staff, devoted individuals who provide critical service for our students, faculty, visitors and patients. A great university must have highly motivated and professional staff. UCLA is blessed with such a group, and we deeply appreciate their dedication to the university. In support of staff, we will continue to make training and development a priority.
  • Protect our faculty’s ability to engage in extraordinary scholarship. The hallmark of an eminent research university is outstanding research and the benefits it provides to students and society. We must ensure that our faculty have the time and research infrastructure to keep UCLA among the nation’s elite research institutions.
  • Protect UCLA’s attractiveness to a diverse student body, faculty and staff. In recent years we have made gains in diversity among our students, staff and faculty. I don’t have to tell you how fragile these advances are. We will maintain our focus in this area.
  • Emphasize our role as a public institution serving the people of California. Although we are deeply disappointed by the lack of state support, we recognize our responsibility to maintain critical engagement within our community, especially in the areas of healthcare and K-12 education. But we must become more efficient and cost-effective in how we deliver these services.

How can we protect these core values, maintain academic excellence and yet drastically reduce our budget?

We must:

  • Reduce undergraduate over-enrollment. UCLA is bursting at the seams with students. This year, we enrolled approximately 1,750 students over our target. This is largely because of the extraordinary qualifications of our applicants and our desire to serve as many students as we can. But we must reduce our student population to ensure that we have the resources to offer a quality education. We also will consider increasing the proportion of non-resident students. UCLA currently enrolls a greater proportion of state residents than our peer public institutions. There are strong intellectual arguments for geographical diversity; non-resident students can enrich the educational experience for all. A moderate increase in the proportion of non-residents would generate millions of dollars in new revenue to protect instructional programs for all UCLA students.
  • Operate with a smaller faculty and administration. EVC Waugh has limited faculty recruitment next year to 25 searches campus-wide. (For 2008-09, we hired 75 new faculty, reflecting more than 100 searches.) We will do all we can to retain our distinguished and highly productive faculty as we continue to aggressively recruit distinguished senior faculty and promising junior faculty. But their numbers will be smaller to match a reduced student body. In addition, I will be proposing an initiative to achieve administrative cost savings through streamlining and consolidating campus business processes.
  • Reduce the number of educational programs we offer. UCLA offers an astounding array of majors and interdisciplinary programs. Some are among the very best in the nation, but not all remain vital and of significant interest to our students. Pruning programs will help us emphasize areas in which we are strongest. Academic advisory groups, working with EVC Waugh, will identify areas that can no longer be supported by general funds.
  • Remove redundant functions, both administrative and educational, that have arisen over time, in order to enhance our effectiveness and efficiency. In addition to measures we are already taking related to energy use, travel and campus systems, we will consider centralizing and/or combining functions in such areas as business operations and institutional assessment. We are asking deans to consider reasoned reductions in major requirements, elimination of redundant course offerings among departments, enhanced use of information technology, and any other efforts that would improve efficiencies in the curriculum.
  • Reduce the use of general funds to support research, and instead attract funding from other sources. Many research programs receiving regular state support can obtain competitive funds from federal sources, foundations or philanthropy. In most cases, general fund support of research should be temporary and used to catalyze and leverage other forms of funding. There is little justification for programs that are fully supportable by outside agencies to continue to receive large amounts of general fund support.
  • Recognize that the reduced level of state support will be a multi-year problem. Immediate modifications in our budget for 2009-10 must be followed by systemic actions that permanently reduce our need for state support.
  • Take full advantage of vacant positions following retirements and voluntary work reductions to minimize the need for layoffs. Most of our expenditures at UCLA are labor costs. We can speak of “consolidation,” “increasing efficiency” or “program reductions,” but in the end, these measures result in fewer jobs for faculty and staff and fewer employment opportunities for students. This means not replacing individuals who retire, allowing individuals to reduce their working hours through the START program, not renewing annual contracts and, unfortunately, layoffs.
  • Rededicate ourselves to philanthropic efforts. Alumni and friends of UCLA have been remarkably supportive of our university in the past. Without a change in the downward spiral of state support, UCLA increasingly will need to be privately funded. We especially must focus on growing endowments for undergraduate aid, graduate fellowships, faculty chairs, and research centers and programs.

We still have much to celebrate.

Despite the current fiscal challenges, however, we must never forget how much we have to be proud of at UCLA. In my nearly two years here, I have been amazed by the dedication, ingenuity and professionalism of our faculty and staff. Students often tell me how well they are served both in and out of the classroom. Our faculty consistently win prestigious awards, and our staff likewise deserve special recognition. Our hospital personnel gleam with pride over the seamless move to the new hospital and the high level of patient satisfaction. Our students are impressive in every dimension. Many of our undergraduates represent the first generation in their families to attend college. Bruin athletic teams have won more NCAA titles than those at any other institution.

UCLA clearly is no ordinary place. It is one of the finest institutions of higher education in the world, impacting millions of people through education, research and outreach. Together, we must and we will keep UCLA extraordinary. I deeply appreciate the part each of you is playing as we navigate our way through this unprecedented crisis.

Sincerely,

Gene D. Block
Chancellor

“A” Level Renovation Update (5)

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Work continues on the ‘A” level renovation and we are moving toward completion pretty much on schedule.

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Transom windows are sealed into place allowing light to come into the interier spaces in the office area.

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Columns are being “smoothed” to provide a finish that looks natural in the garden reading room.

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Carpeting is down in the office area and covered to protect it as the contractor finishes the space. Some ceiling tiles are installed and work continues on lighting, alarms, and ventilation.

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Okay, I pulled a bit of plastic aside so you could see what the carpet looks like. Doors will be installed soon and the workroom spaces are finished.

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Saito Fellowship Awarded

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

The Library annually awards a fellowship in the name of former staff member Marie Saito. This year’s recipient is Christopher M. Salvano who will enter his second year in UCLA’s articulated Library and Information Science and Latin American Studies Masters Program in the fall.

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Christopher Salvano joined Tom Saito at the Faculty Center for lunch and learned about Marie’s legacy of thirty years on the UCLA staff and the significance of the fellowship.

In his letter of application for the fellowship, Christopher states, “I entered UCLA’s articulated degree program with the goal of working as an academic librarian with a Latin American subject speciaty, and my experience at YRL has only strengthened that desire. It is very important to me to find a professional setting that allows me to continue learning new things everyday, challenges me intellectually, gives me the opportunity to work with the public, and that allows me to perform a variety of tasks and responsiblities on a daily basis.” He served as vice-president of the ALA student chapter this year and will continue working for the chapter next year as it selects its speakers and schedules events.

UC Furlough/Salary Q & A

Friday, June 19th, 2009

June 18, 2009

UC Furlough/Salary Reduction Plan Options €“ Questions & Answers

A summary of options for systemwide furloughs/salary reductions was sent to the UC community on June 17, 2009. Following broad consultation, President Yudof intends to present a specific option for approval to The Regents at their July 2009 meeting. To date, no decisions have been made as to which option will be implemented. Below are answers to questions about the proposals. Additional information will be added throughout this process as answers to other questions become available and as the University approaches a decision on this issue.

Are these furloughs/salary reductions intended to be permanent?

No €“ the intent is for these actions to be temporary or short-term in nature, to help the University through the current budget crisis. As indicated, the proposed duration for all three options is August 1, 2009 through July 31, 2010 unless extended by the Regents.

Will furloughs/salary cuts apply to all employees, including faculty and represented employees?

Yes. In order to ensure equity across the University, whichever option is chosen would apply to all faculty and staff, except student employees. The Academic Senate has been closely involved in consultation on these options. Implementation of the final plan is subject to collective bargaining for represented employees. The President may recommend a hybrid Plan that achieves the eight percent reduction in slightly different ways for the various employee groups.

If my salary is not supported by state funds, will I still have to take a furlough or salary cut?

Yes €“ participation is not based on the source of salary funds. Each of the options would apply to UC employees whose salaries are funded by contracts and grants, clinical income and other auxiliary activity, and general funds.

Will the proposed reductions apply to employees at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory?

The intent is for whatever option is selected to apply to all UC employees, including LBNL employees. Since LBNL is funded by the Department of Energy (DOE), UC will comply with all contractual obligations with the DOE.

W ill this be additive for the senior leaders who have already taken a five percent pay cut?

The senior UC officials who voluntarily agreed to have their salary reduced by five percent will have their salaries reduced by a total of at least eight percent under these options.

How will the furlough/salary reduction impact vacation and sick leave accruals, UCRP service credit and benefit calculations, and other benefits?

Under each option, the intent is to protect benefits and leave accruals to the extent possible. This may not be possible in all situations. This issue continues to be evaluated and no final decisions have been made yet. Approval from the Regents is required to protect UCRP benefits from being impacted by a furlough/salary reduction plan.

I volunteered to participate in START to help the University manage the budget situation. Will I have to take further reductions if a systemwide furlough or salary reduction is implemented?

How these options impact/relate to the START program is currently being analyzed. More information on this issue is expected soon.

What’s the difference between the three options?

All three options are intended to achieve the same budgetary savings and have the same impact on employee pay — each option is closely equivalent to an eight percent pay reduction. Option I is a straight pay reduction with no changes to work hours. Under Options II and III, employees will be scheduled to work fewer days and a number of holidays will no longer be paid holidays.

In Options II and III, will I be able to schedule the unpaid day at a time that’s convenient for me and my department, or will the days be pre-scheduled?

This is still being looked at. The unpaid days would include a combination of University holidays and additional days, but the precise mix of holidays vs. additional days has not been determined. The additional days may be pre-scheduled by the University in order to manage critical operations, for example to ensure patient care at a medical center.

For unpaid days, can I “make up” for the lost salary by using my vacation leave, sick leave, or compensatory time off?

No. The objective of these options is for the University to achieve budgetary savings. Accrued vacation, paid time off (PTO), comp time and/or sick leave all are forms of paid time off and thus may not be substituted for unpaid days.

Will furloughs or salary reductions affect the health of the UC retirement plan?

The potential impact of the options on the funding status of the UC retirement plan is being analyzed by the Plan Actuary, and this will be taken into consideration as decisions are made.

From the Chancellor

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

I am sharing the following memo from the Chancellor. I encourage you to read it carefully and inform yourself as to the options presented. I would welcome your comments and/or forward them as instructed in the memo.

To Faculty and Staff:During town hall meetings with staff and faculty, and in several recent campuswide communications, Executive Vice Chancellor Scott Waugh, Vice Chancellor Steve Olsen and I have discussed with you the need for the University of California and UCLA to realize massive cost savings through a number of measures. I appreciate all we have already accomplished by deferring hiring and eliminating vacant positions where possible, reducing travel costs and other expenses, and increasing operational efficiencies.However, throughout the past several weeks, it has been clear that one component of our plan would be salary reductions and/or furloughs for our faculty and staff. Now, in response to the financial emergency we are facing, the University of California Office of the President has drafted descriptions of three possible plans under consideration for reducing the pay of all UC employees.As this latest communication from UCOP again highlights, this is an extremely difficult period for all of us, and I am fully aware that decisions about our university’s finances are having a real and immediate impact on your lives. I am extremely concerned about the effect of these cuts, not only on UCLA’s academic mission, but also on the welfare of our faculty and staff and your families.I encourage you to carefully read the proposals at http://www.today.ucla.edu/portal/ut/document/FurloughReductionOptions.pdf, and I encourage you to share your comments about them. The best way to make your voice heard about the proposals is to forward feedback by July 1 to your department head, human resources representative, or Lubbe Levin, associate vice chancellor, Campus Human Resources, at llevin@chr.ucla.edu.UC President Mark Yudof will consider input from employees before making his recommendation to the UC Regents, who ultimately will approve the plan that is implemented at their mid-July meeting.Whichever plan is eventually chosen would be in effect from August 1, 2009, until July 31, 2010, unless extended by further action by the Regents. Briefly, the plans under consideration are as follows:

  • Option 1: Salary reduction. Salaries for all faculty and staff earning $46,000 or more would be reduced by 8 percent; salaries for faculty and staff earning less than $46,000 would be reduced by 4 percent. Projected cost savings to the University of California general fund: $193.5 million.
  • Option 2: Unpaid days. Staff and faculty salaries would be reduced by 8 percent through a combination of certain unpaid holidays and scheduled furlough days totaling as many as 21 days; the number of unpaid holiday/furlough days would be fewer for employees earning less than $46,000, academic year faculty and fiscal year faculty. Projected cost savings to the University of California general fund: $195.4 million.
  • Option 3: Hybrid of salary reduction and unpaid days. Employees earning $46,000 or more would take a combination of unpaid holidays, scheduled holidays and salary reduction that would produce an overall salary reduction of 8 percent; for employees earning less than $46,000, the combination would yield an overall salary reduction of 4 percent. Projected cost savings to the University of California general fund: $194.1 million.

Further details about the proposals, including specific challenges and considerations for each, are provided in the full document.Each one of us — myself included — will be affected by the plan President Yudof recommends, so please familiarize yourself with the details of the proposed options and voice your opinion. Especially at times like this, I truly value your contributions to our campus and your sacrifices for the continued excellence of the university.Sincerely,Gene D. Block
Chancellor

Gary Nash Headlines Associates Reading

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

The final Library Associates Author Reading for the academic year was held last night to a standing room only crowd at the Young Research Library. UCLA Professor Emeritus Gary Nash

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Gary Nash joins University Librarian Gary Strong at the Library Associates Author Reading closing the series for the academic year.

Gary Nash, UCLA History Professor Emeritus and Director of the National Center for History in Schools, discussed “A Tragic Betrayal in the New Nation,” based on his recent book Friends of Liberty: Thomas Jefferson, Tadeusz Kósciuszko, and Agrippa Hull: A Tale of Three Patriots, Two Revolutions, and a Tragic Betrayal of Freedom in the New Nation.

Gary has a varying array of books to his credit including The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America, The Forgotten Fifth: African Americans in the Age of Revolution, First City: Philadelphia and the Forging of Historical Memory and Forbidden Love: The Secret History of Mixed Race America.

Gary received his Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from PrincetonUniversity. He is an elected member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Society of American Historians, and the American Antiquarian Society. He has been a professor in the UCLA Department of History since 1966. Gary and his wife, Cindy, are also endowment donors to the UCLA Library. His talk and reading were followed by a brisk question and answer period.

UC Libraries Unite In Appeal to Publishers

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Our budget situation concerning acquisitions is outlined in an article released yesterday in UCLA Today. It highlights the efforts to appeal to publishers to understand our budget constraints and to respond in kind.

http://today.ucla.edu/portal/ut/uc-libraries-plead-with-publishers-94264.aspx

This is part of our continuing efforts to work within our resources in the future and keep pace with ever increasing demands of our community.

Budget Crisis Update

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Worsening state budget crisis prompts campus leaders’ call to action

Cynthia Lee, UCLA Today

June 15, 2009

Although the State Legislature is still at odds over how to slash the state budget to deal with a $24 billion deficit, it is very likely that the governor’s proposed $619 million cut to UC’s budget for 2009-10 will stand, UCLA’s budget chief told the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, June 11. UCLA’s share of that cut would amount to a $109 million reduction — 16 percent of its general fund.

Even though the final budget outcome is still to come, it is imperative that UCLA begin to act now to put reductions into effect to protect the university financially, campus leaders said. To cope with these new realities, the university will need to shrink.“Believe me — this is not a drill. This is not a test. €¦ I’ve been watching the dynamics in the state capital over the last several weeks, and I believe [with] a high degree of confidence that that actually will be the final number in the budget,” said Vice Chancellor Steve Olsen of Finance, Budget and Capital Programs.

So far, legislators have given no indication that they are willing to restore funding to UC or CSU’s operating budgets, although there has been some support for retaining funding for the Cal Grant programs.

Chancellor Gene Block and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh joined Olsen in delivering the grim news to the Legislative Assembly meeting in Kerckhoff Hall. Campus leaders emphasized that quick action needs to be taken because of fast-moving developments in Sacramento. The situation is very fluid, they said.

“None of us can escape the fact that we’re in something unprecedented,” Chancellor Block said.

The challenge of the next fiscal year
The deep cut that may take effect beginning July 1 will pose a huge challenge, Block said, “because it comes upon us very suddenly, and cuts have to be made quickly.” But the university will not give up its mission or commitment to teaching, research and service, he said.
“The ticker starts on July 1,” Waugh explained. “Every dollar that we spend after July 1 reduces the amount of money that’s available to be cut,” making the task even more difficult than it already is.

One likely area for cuts will be employee compensation, an option that the Office of the President (OP) is actively discussing. “My assessment is that it is highly likely there will be some form of program involving a combination of salary reductions and/or furloughs for university employees,” said Olsen.

While no decision has been made on what form it will take or when it will be enacted, OP’s current plan is to save roughly $180 million to $200 million in the general fund payroll. A $200 million savings with such a program would make up one-third of the anticipated shortfall for UC. That is approximately equivalent to a 7 percent reduction in the average salary level “if it were applied to all employees and if it were applied €¦ on July 1,” Olsen said. However, the UC regents, who must approve the plan, are not scheduled to meet until July 14-16.

UCLA’s share of the savings would range from $32 million to $36 million. A $36 million salary savings for the campus, when added to other planned reductions of $33 million, achieved through a 5 percent cut taken across the board by campus units, would still leave UCLA with a shortfall of $40 million for the next fiscal year.

“Our strong belief at this point is that we have taken across-the-board reductions as far as they can go €“ and in some cases too far,” Olsen acknowledged. UCLA is dipping into its cash reserves for bridge funding for some core instructional programs for 2009-10. But that can’t be maintained for long, he said.

Getting back to basics
To make $40 million in targeted cuts and adjust to the new realities in state funding, UCLA is going to have to start downsizing, making major adjustments to its academic programs, resulting in fewer courses, fewer majors, fewer degree programs and fewer faculty members over time. Although UCLA will work on reducing student enrollment, it is a slow process that takes years, Waugh said. “To be clear about this — faculty workload is going to go up,” he said, as faculty hiring dramatically falls off and if the pace of faculty retirements quickens as UCLA hopes.
For 2009-10, faculty appointments will number fewer than 20, compared to 74 this year. Waugh said departments should plan on being around 10 percent to 20 percent smaller. To do this, they will need to reduce the number of courses and the kinds of degrees they offer.

“The academic program is going to have to shrink,” Waugh said. “We just don’t have the wherewithal to support all the activities, all the programs, all the courses, all the departments, all the research activities that we have engaged in in the past. We’re going to have to look at a deliberate and meaningful way of realigning our academic programs with the realities of our state funding.”

Getting back to basics in education will also offer departments a chance to carefully examine majors and courses to make sure they meet academic goals as well as the aspirations of students and the community. “We have to aim for preserving what’s essential and try to figure out what’s less essential,” Waugh explained.

The hard work ahead
In order to meet this crisis, much has to be accomplished in a short time. Recommendations from the Tool Box Project task forces to reduce administrative costs, improve operational efficiency, increase non-state revenue, cut costs and reallocate resources within the academic program are now available at this website.
“These recommendations will be under active consideration over the next few months and on into the next year,” Waugh said. Some can be implemented in a few months; others will take a few years to carry out.

“It’s very important that we all be engaged in this process because it affects all of us. €¦ We don’t have the corner on genius here. It’s very important that you get involved in the process and help us out,” the executive vice chancellor urged.

He outlined the principles that will guide decisions on how academic programs will be realigned:

  • Academic excellence must remain a top priority.
  • Decisions about curricula and teaching should be made locally. The exception would be interdisciplinary programs, “where it might be beneficial to have solutions that cross department or program lines,” Waugh explained.
  • Any changes to degree programs and curricula must be developed by faculty and implemented in accordance with Senate policy.
  • Any new funds generated must be directed to UCLA’s educational mission.
  • Changes must take into account priorities established by Chancellor Block: academic excellence, diversity and civic engagement.

A time for reappraisal

To streamline academic programs, departments will be reviewing requirements for majors and minors and reducing maximum units. General education requirements will be reviewed as well. The number of total courses will be reduced, but departments will need to make sure that undergraduates have the essential courses they need to make progress toward their degree, Waugh emphasized.Departments will also increase the percentage of ladder faculty who are teaching high-priority courses. To become more efficient, departments will be consolidating similar basic skills courses, as well as administrative and computing services. And the use of educational technology will expand, if possible, to increase efficiency and sustain quality while class sizes increase.

In addition, task forces will form this summer to help specific academic areas — including foreign language departments and the writing programs — save money. “This is not aimed at creating cuts to the humanities,” which will be most heavily impacted by the cuts in terms of cost of instruction, Waugh stressed. These task forces, made up of Senate members and administrators, will be working in a short timeframe, from 90 to 120 days.

To increase non-state revenue, there are a number of options being considered, Waugh said. Departments could offer more courses during summer sessions, set up self-supporting degree programs and work with UCLA Extension on ways to deliver basic skills courses. UCLA will gradually increase its enrollment of higher-paying non-resident students, but by a modest number so as not to harm access for California students. And UC is looking into whether different fees should be charged for particular schools or subjects where the cost of educating students is higher.

Crisis calls for working together
Chancellor Block reminded faculty representatives that UCLA has weathered many financial storms in the past. “Many of you have been here longer, obviously, than I have, and you have seen this university go through challenging times.”
UCLA has nevertheless emerged from these downturns a great public institution, said the chancellor. “It will remain so. But it will take all of us working together to make certain that we come out of this crisis a strong institution.”

Campus leaders said they will keep the campus community updated on this very serious situation, where the budget numbers seem to be changing hourly.

€¢ A Town Hall meeting for faculty on the budget situation is set for Tuesday, June 16 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Charles E. Young Grand Salon in Kerckhoff Hall.

€¢ Go to the website for the Budget Toolbox Project. Read the reports and send your comments to evc@conet.ucla.edu.€¢ See a video of the June 11 budget presentation before the Legislative Assembly.

€¢ Stay up-to-date by visiting UCLA’s budget website.

Budget News from the Campus

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

I wanted to get this out to everyone so that you could see the framework in which the Library is making decisions about the budget. I will be sharing our planning details with you shortly as we are working them from the scenarios that we presented into actual plans for budget reduction. Stay tuned.

Gary

Campus leaders cut budget by 5 percent as more potential reductions loom

Cynthia Lee, UCLA Today

June 8, 2009

Vice chancellors and deans, following the planning process put in place by UCLA’s senior leaders, are now taking steps to cut 5 percent from their general fund budgets, knowing that there is a likelihood of more cuts to come as state leaders grapple with the prospect of running out of cash by the end of July.

The state’s budget crisis has already triggered belt-tightening. Since January, approximately 180 UCLA employees have been laid off. The Office of the President (OP) has cut spending by more than $60 million. Salaries for senior managers systemwide have been frozen. And administrators at the highest level, including UC President Mark G. Yudof and Chancellor Gene Block, are taking a 5 percent pay cut.

More details about how UCLA is being affected are forthcoming. Vice Chancellor Steve Olsen of Finance, Budget and Capital Programs, and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh are meeting with the deans and vice chancellors on the latest developments of what has become a budget crisis of unprecedented proportions.“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Olsen said at a Town Hall meeting with students June 3 in the Charles E. Young Grand Salon in Kerckhoff Hall. Olsen has spent more than 30 years in the business of managing state and campus budgets. “It’s clear that this is by far the worst financial crisis this state has faced since the Great Depression.” The state’s shortfall is approaching $24 billion, equal to around 30 percent of all the revenue the state takes in.Chancellor Block, Waugh and Olsen will be addressing the Legislative Assembly of the Academic Senate Thursday, June 11, beginning at 2 p.m. in Young Grand Salon, to talk about the state’s worsening fiscal problems and how the campus is being affected.

The exact size of the cuts the campus will face will not be known until the Legislature agrees on a plan and OP decides what action to take systemwide, Waugh said. But campus leaders are not waiting for that before making preparations. “We can make an educated guess and look at what the campus is going to have to do. In anticipation of that, we’re talking about setting up some task forces, along with the Academic Senate, to look at academic programs and changes to the way we conduct academic business.”

Waugh said the cuts being proposed “are of such magnitude that we are going to have to undertake great changes in academic programs. €¦ This will have a major impact — there’s no doubt about it. It’s an impact that will be felt in every corner of the campus and in every program.”

Meanwhile, campus administrators “are working very closely with OP to explore a range of possible responses,” Olsen said. “Many of these options are ones that have to be addressed by the UC system.”

Among the difficult decisions under study are further increases in student fees; salary reductions for employees or furloughs, along with more layoffs; reducing or eliminating state-funded research and public service programs; and reducing student enrollment once again.

“We have begun to take the 5 percent general fund reductions now,” Olsen said. “We have told the deans and vice chancellors that this is the best outcome we can hope for. €¦ As soon as we get a better indication of what the systemwide response will be, we will get back to them and reengage the planning process.”

Three campus task forces that have been meeting since January under the Budget Toolbox Project have reported on their recommendations to reduce administrative costs, improve operational efficiency, increase non-state revenue, reduce the cost of the academic program and reallocate resources within that program. Recommendations range from seeking approval for a faculty compensation plan that would allow more flexibility than the existing pay structure to developing revenue-generating courses.

The reports are currently under review by faculty, students, staff, alumni and other UCLA constituents. Comments should be sent to Waugh at evc@conet.ucla.edu. An implementation committee that will include administrative and Senate leaders will be meeting shortly to establish priorities for follow-up, devise an action plan for high-priority recommendations and develop a framework for assessment for the implementation phase.The governor’s proposed budget cutsFollowing the May 19 failure of five ballot measures and the state’s inability to borrow $5.5 billion because it cannot obtain federal loan guarantees, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed massive new budget cuts. To take effect, they would need to be approved by the State Legislature.

Under the governor’s proposal:

· In addition to the deep cuts already taken this fiscal year, UC would lose $176 million more between now and June 30, the close of 2008-09. UCLA’s share of this reduction for 2008-09 is $32 million. The campus is already cutting $18 million from its general fund budget this year. “We still have to come up with another $14 million in cuts,” which will probably be carried over to 2009-10, said Olsen.

· For 2009-10, UC would lose $619 million. UCLA’s share of this drastic reduction would be $109 million. The campus had been planning for a $33 million cut. “So what we could be facing will be is essentially three times the amount of the cut we had planned for,” Olsen said. This amounts to about 15 percent of UCLA’s general fund. “There’s no doubt that, if this is approved by the State Legislature, UCLA will experience very deep cuts to a broad range of programs, including academic programs.”

· The state would phase out the Cal Grant program, starting with the elimination of new Cal Grants already promised to 14,000 incoming UC freshmen and transfer students. For continuing students who already get Cal Grants, there would be no increase in their award to cover the 2009-10 fee increase. In addition, tens of thousands of UC grant recipients would be affected — as many as 60,000 in total. UCLA and other UC campuses would be forced to reallocate all state financial assistance received by students who receive need-based aid to equalize the impact on all. These would include students who don’t qualify for Cal Grants.
Currently, 7,000 UCLA students, almost one-third of the student body, receive $46 million in Cal Grant assistance. Eventually, said campus officials, student debt would nearly double from $8,500 currently to $16,000 and affect a broad range of students from low to medium-income families. “To say we are deeply concerned is a huge understatement,” said Olsen. “I personally am outraged about this.”
On Friday, June 5, the Budget Conference Committee rejected the governor’s proposal and restored funding to the Cal Grant Program, but the issue is still in flux and the committee’s action is not considered the final word.· All funding for K-12 academic preparation programs would be eliminated. Funding to UC’s academic medical centers would be reduced. The state would eliminate funding to the UC pension system and cancel lease-revenue funding that had been proposed for high-priority facilities projects.

While recognizing that the budget challenge facing the state is so enormous that UC has to be part of the solution, UC and the campuses are issuing a call to action, asking students, faculty, staff, friends and supporters to contact their legislators and stress that the proposed cuts will have dire consequences.In an e-mail that went out June 5 to all advocates, Yudof said: “I urge you to take this opportunity to tell legislators that you support the least damaging cuts possible for public higher education and the UC campuses.”In a call to “stand with UCLA,” staff with UC’s Office of Government and Community Relations are mobilizing advocates to tell their legislative representatives about the extremely detrimental impact if Cal Grants is phased out, to remind them of the huge economic and intellectual returns for California with investment in UC and to urge them to allow UC the flexibility to administer cuts in the smartest way possible.

“We understand that UC has to take cuts, but unallocated cuts rather than cuts determined by Sacramento,” said Keith Parker, assistant vice chancellor of government and community relations at UCLA. “UC needs to make these critical decisions about where to take these reductions.”

Legislators seek to end UC autonomy

In another move, a group of legislators, including State Sens. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, and Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, are attempting to strip power away from UC by introducing a constitutional amendment to give legislators the ability to set policy for the UC system. To be enacted, the proposal would have to be passed by two-thirds of the Legislature and then by voters as a statewide ballot measure.

“Given the current $25 billion hole in the state budget and the political paralysis that chronically plagues Sacramento, tossing a 10-campus public research university that is the pride of California and the envy of the world into the Sacramento mix should be a non-starter,” according to UC officials in a statement.

“Let’s be clear: UC is working. At a time when it has become popular to mock California, the university survives as one of the state’s great success stories. It has thrived under the system of autonomous governance, led by the Regents, that was so wisely written into the Constitution by our pioneers.

“California might have trouble marketing its bonds in the current fiscal crisis, but UC has an AA1/AA rating,” the statement continued. “The state budget may have fallen over a cliff, but UC has managed its resources prudently in a tough environment. It has been able to preserve its world-class status — a thrumming engine of educational opportunity, scientific advance and economic stimulus — even as it has absorbed a steady onslaught of cuts dictated from Sacramento.”

UCLA students have made a video appeal to keep the Cal Grant program. See it here.

Visit to the Bodleian Library at Oxford

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

I spent Friday with Sarah Thomas, the Bodley Librarian, at Oxford. We had a chance to compare notes about the changes in our two universities, the challenges of tightening budgets, and plans for our libraries. Many of the issues that we are facing at UCLA are being faced there as well. Planning for their storage facility continues after numerous stops and starts and the challenges of buildings that date back to the 1500s are far different than what we face on the UCLA campus.

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I was joined by Carol Christ, President of Smith College (formerly Executive Vice Chancellor at UC Berkeley), Sarah Thomas, and Paul Alpers (Carol’s husband, professor emeritus at UC Berkeley). We engaged in a lively discussion of the challenges of public and private higher education. Smith has just finished instituting a 15 percent reduction in their campus-wide budget that will cover the next two years.

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One can even smell the books in the oldest of the reading rooms at the Bodley. We weren’t allowed to pass this front gate even with Sarah along with us.

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And we think that we have challenges retrieving books. These conveyors snake underground through tunnels connecting the new and old Bodley. A researcher can retrieve only ten books at a time. Hope you made the right choice!

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One of the highlights was being able to examine SAPPHO from the 2nd century A.D. The fragments give a challenge indeed. My purpose in this visit was to further discuss the potential partnership in digitizing about 4,000 nitrate negatives created by the late 19th century photographers Agnes Smith Lewis and Margaret Dunlap Gibson. One of the manuscripts identified in the negatives is the “Sinaitcus Syrus” held at St. Catherine’s Monastery of the Sinai. It is a palimpsest, the erased layer of which dates to the late 4th or early 5th century and preserves the oldest translation of the New Testament Gospels in Syriac. The agreement is close and we now just have to figure out how to get it done.

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The highlight of my afternoon, was a visit to All Souls College for tea with UCLA Professor Claudia Rapp who is on sabbatical at Oxford. After gathering the keys, she took me to the All Souls College Library (above) and to the chapel.

I arrived back in London pretty tired from a most productive and exciting day. Saturday took me to the Olympia Boook Fair where I saw several John Fante volumes that we couldn’t afford.