Archive for the ‘Budget News 2011-12’ Category

Preserving UCLA’s Fiscal and Academic Strength

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

The Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost recently sent this update to the Deans.  I am sharing it here as it well states the situation that faces UCLA and the UCLA Library as well.  You will note that in a number of areas mentioned, we have taken action within the Library to address this challenge.   As we go forward, we will continue to work along with the campus to address these issues.

Gary E. Strong, University Librarian

To: Faculty, Deans, Vice Chancellors, Vice Provosts, Chief Administrative Officers, Directors:

I am writing to update you on our response to California’s unprecedented budget crisis and its impact on our campus. Over the past decade, state support for the University of California has dropped by more than 50 percent. In the past year alone, state funds for UCLA were cut from $470 million to $340 million and, despite uncertainty about the future budget, we expect further cuts. Tuition increases have not fully replaced the loss of state monies. On top of this, UCLA faces unfunded mandatory cost increases, primarily due to pension contributions but also faculty merits and increases resulting from system-wide collective bargaining agreements.

We are managing our budget within a changed policy environment. A new “funding streams” model that has been implemented by the UC Office of the President (UCOP) has two key components. First, campuses can now keep all non-state revenues they generate, such as tuition and overhead from grants. Tempering this good news is a second aspect of the model: Campuses must pay a tax (1.6 percent of the prior year’s expenditures) in order to support UCOP’s operations and initiatives. In our planning, we must keep in mind that most restricted funds, such as extramural grants and endowment funds, cannot be directly taxed or cut to achieve our budget targets.

On February 27, 2012, Chancellor Block and I met with UCLA administrative and Academic Senate leadership to discuss how UCLA will address our budget situation in this new context. If we fail to act, our general fund—the major source of funding for our academic programs—risks falling into deficit. Our highest priorities are preserving UCLA’s academic quality and offering excellence in graduate and undergraduate education. I will work closely with the deans and the Senate—who will in turn work with department chairs and faculty—toward these goals.

We are pursuing a four-part strategy to ensure our fiscal and academic strength.

First, we must increase non-state revenue. Enrollment of nonresident undergraduate students is critically important because nonresident tuition helps cover the costs of educating all students. Self-supporting programs, professional school differential fees, and Summer Sessions revenue sharing are other important sources of funds. Selective conversion of some professional degree programs to self-supporting status will help free up funds for our core academic programs and avoid deeper cuts to undergraduate education. Fundraising also plays a key role in this effort.

Second, we are striving to deliver our academic programs more efficiently. We have slowed faculty hiring and reduced the requirements for many majors. I ask you now to continue reviewing requirements for majors and to consider cutting small courses and reducing the number of majors, so that we can focus our resources more effectively.

Third, we are continuing to reduce administrative costs while increasing efficiency. Units such as research administration, the graduate division, and information technology services have undergone major restructuring. Across the campus, hiring has slowed, and units have addressed budget challenges through attrition, retirements, leaving open positions unfilled for a longer period of time, and organizational changes. We have reduced purchasing, energy and transactional costs.

Fourth, we are engaging in systemwide partnerships to obtain access to new tools and systems. UCLA will be an early implementer of a new UC payroll and human resources system (UCPath), expected to be in operation by July 2013, which will eventually lead to long-term savings in both staffing and operational costs.

Our leadership meeting began and ended with the reaffirmation of our commitment to academic excellence. We must, and we will, preserve the quality of our academic programs, act aggressively to retain our faculty, hire faculty in high-priority areas and compete effectively for the finest graduate students. We will also continue to offer an undergraduate education and student experience that is second to none.

UCLA’s superb faculty and staff are among our greatest strengths. You are the reason that more students apply to UCLA than to any other university, that we receive over $1 billion per year in extramural funding and that we rank among the top research universities in the world. Thank you for your dedication to our students and our community.

Sincerely,

Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Message from the Chancellor

Thursday, July 14th, 2011
UCLA logoOffice of the Chancellor

 To the Campus Community:

Today, following a recommendation by University of California President Mark Yudof, the UC Board of Regents approved a 9.6 percent tuition increase for 2011–12. This is in addition to the 8 percent tuition increase over our 2010–11 fee that the Regents had already passed in November 2010. The increase established today, which will go into effect beginning with fall classes, will raise mandatory systemwide charges, including tuition and the student services fee, for the academic year by an additional $1,068, to a total of $12,192.

I recognize and regret that this news will be painful for our students and their families, not only because of the financial cost but also because of its timing. With less than two months before the start of the new academic year, we know that many have carefully planned their budgets based on the previously announced tuition.

Although the news is disheartening, the Regents had no other options. Today’s action was necessitated by a significantly larger-than-expected budget cut from the state of California to the UC for 2011–12. Earlier this year, Governor Jerry Brown proposed reducing state funding to the UC for the current fiscal year by $500 million. However, by the time he signed the final budget on June 30, that reduction had swelled to $650 million—a cut of about 24 percent—which necessitated the additional tuition increase.

As it has done in the past, the UC will set aside one-third of the revenue from the tuition increase for financial aid, including the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan, which covers UC fees for students whose annual family income is less than $80,000. In addition, the UC expects that increases in institutional aid and Cal Grants will cover the amount of this latest tuition increase for undergraduates from families earning less than $120,000 per year.

It is important to note that these tuition increases are just one component of our strategy for meeting our budgets moving forward; we are not asking students and students’ families to bear the full burden of the budget reductions. Rather, cost-cutting and revenue-generating measures will be used to address about three-quarters of the UC’s systemwide billion-dollar budget gap. At UCLA in particular, we have for several years been planning judiciously in light of declining state support. Ongoing restructuring of academic and administrative programs, a heightened focus on generating new revenues, and partnerships with the UC Office of the President and other UC campuses will ensure that UCLA is well positioned to thrive in this new financial reality.

Despite the continued financial constraints, our campus leadership has taken decisive measures to provide funding and other resources to ensure that all students receive the world-class education Californians expect from UCLA. Students will have access to the courses they need to complete their majors, and we will see to it that they can graduate in a timely manner.

Today’s news adds to our frustration with California’s inability to properly support the UC system, but it only continues a trend that has accelerated during recent years. The state’s disinvestment in public higher education is all the more dispiriting because a majority of the lawmakers who are pulling funds away from our colleges and universities reaped the benefits of these outstanding institutions. As I wrote recently in a Los Angeles Times op-ed, two-thirds of California Assembly and Senate members attended at least one California community college, Cal State or UC, and many attended two or three.

All of us who believe the state has a responsibility to help ensure access to quality higher education must join the effort to advocate on behalf of the university. Please register at UC for California and let lawmakers in Sacramento know that the cuts to higher education are jeopardizing our state’s future.

Sincerely,

Gene D. Block
Chancellor

Chancellor’s Statement on the State Budget

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block released this statement on June 29 in response to the 2011–12 budget approved by the state Legislature and expected to be signed by the governor: 

 To a large degree, research-driven innovation and an affordable college education have been the foundations of California’s post–World War II vibrancy, driving both economic growth on a large scale and socioeconomic opportunity for countless individuals. As a leading public research university, UCLA has played a major role in the state’s success. 

 The dream of a public higher education system in service to the state has been severely hampered by the 2011–12 state budget expected to be signed in Sacramento. Not only does the spending plan reduce funding to the University of California system by $650 million in the fiscal year starting July 1 — a cut of about 24 percent — but it also leaves open the possibility of additional reductions in January if state tax revenues fall short of projections. This comes on top of reductions over the past two decades that have brought state funding to a level below what was provided in 1998–99, when the UC system had 73,000 fewer students, more than halving per-student funding levels

 While the severe fiscal challenges facing the state are undeniable, this is nothing less than an abrogation of the state’s responsibility to fund public higher education. While helping to solve a short-term budget crisis, it does a disservice to the state’s long-term future by disinvesting in the research and the workforce that California needs to prosper. 

 At UCLA, we continue to take steps to save money, increase efficiency and generate new revenues through a campuswide restructuring effort designed to adjust to new funding realties. While we planned prudently and budgeted conservatively to absorb an anticipated $96 million reduction in state support in 2011–12, the state’s new spending plan may necessitate additional measures. The exact amount of additional reductions in campus funding is not yet known. To generate revenue necessary to ensure the educational experience that students and their families deserve and expect, the UC Office of the President and members of the Board of Regents have said additional tuition increases may be inevitable.

 The severe fiscal challenges facing the state are undeniable; however, further reductions in state support for higher education are unconscionable and unacceptable. I encourage students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of UCLA to continue advocating on behalf of the university. Please visit UC’s advocacy website to make your voice heard.