Statement by President Mark G. Yudof
University of California
January 8, 2010
With his proposed restoration of $370 million in funding for UC, including $305 million cut last year, the Governor has taken another important step toward putting California’s commitment to higher education back on track. These restorations, in addition to the Governor’s proposed constitutional amendment earlier this week, are clear evidence that the Governor understands the vital role public higher education plays in California.
We are pleased that the Governor’s budget provides $51.3 million to fund enrollments, an important step in light of the fact that UC currently enrolls 14,000 students for whom the state provides no funding. These funds will support student access at a time when we have overwhelming demand by UC-qualified students. We are also deeply grateful that the Governor’s proposal sustains funding for the Cal Grants program for UC students, which will enable us to continue to provide financial aid to our most needy students. The Governor’s proposal ensures that UC’s Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan will continue to cover the system-wide fees of students who qualify for financial aid and have family incomes of less than $70,000.
While we deeply appreciate the Governor’s actions, notwithstanding the crisis in the state budget, there is still a significant gap as we seek to repair a budget that has been severely cut. The University requested $913 million to address this critical issue. We now turn to the Legislature to adopt the Governor’s proposals and to find every opportunity possible to fulfill the $913 million needed to restore UC’s funding. This money is vital if UC is to avoid declining educational quality, access and research.
Achieving a full restoration of the budget will be a challenge, given the magnitude of the State’s budget gap and the cuts being proposed for other State services. But reinvestment in public higher education is critical. We will be asking our advocates to be very active in making the case for the University. It is important that UC be able to maintain its tradition of excellence, thereby ensuring a brighter future for all Californians.