Archive for the ‘Budget and Planning’ Category

Chancellor’s Budget Message

Monday, March 21st, 2011

To the Campus Community:

I am writing to share details of our campus planning in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s 2011-12 budget proposal. The governor’s budget would reduce funding to the University of California by $500 million; as a result, the UC Office of the President has asked UCLA to prepare for a reduction of $96 million in 2011-12.

As you know, California is in the midst of a monumental shift in the way public higher education is funded. At UCLA, these changes have led to dramatic reductions in the amount of revenue available for core operations such as academic programs, student services and facilities and maintenance. At the same time, we also are absorbing increased costs for faculty and staff salaries, health benefits, employer contributions to retirement plans, utilities and building operations.

The good news is that we have been planning prudently for declining state support for several years. For example, we have kept vacant almost 525 staff positions, and we have held in reserve funding that was allocated to us by the state last fall. Thanks to our conservative budgeting, we are in a relatively strong position to adapt to the latest reduction in support proposed for 2011-12.

The less pleasant news is that we still face a permanent recurring reduction and need to plan now for the 2012-13 fiscal year. We must continue to exert discipline in our spending and further increase revenues to adjust to the new financial reality. As a community, we must intensify our efforts to ensure UCLA’s financial health and protect the academic excellence that students and the entire state deserve. Our plan—much of it already under way with ongoing input from the Restructuring Steering Committee—relies on four core strategies:

  • Generate new revenues.
    This includes an increased focus on philanthropy and licensing intellectual property as well as increasing the number of nonresident students. In the first two months of 2011, we received two extraordinary gifts that, combined, exceeded $200 million, reflecting great confidence by generous donors in UCLA’s ability to carry out our mission. In addition, our goal is to increase nonresident student enrollment from 9 percent of undergraduates to 18 percent by 2013-14, generating new revenues through the higher tuition that nonresident students pay. By maintaining high graduation rates, we believe we can accomplish this without reducing enrollment levels of California residents, although class sizes will increase.
  • Restructure our academic program.
    Two graduate professional programs at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and the UCLA School of Law have been converted from state-funded to self-supporting, and we are examining similar changes elsewhere. Converting the UCLA Anderson School of Management MBA program to a self-supporting degree program would redirect millions in state support for use toward academic programs elsewhere on campus. In addition, strategic mergers of academic programs and the aggregation of various computing centers are under consideration as a way to increase administrative efficiencies.
  • Restructure our administrative services.
    UCLA is a leader among UC campuses in strategic purchasing and we have identified significant potential savings through consolidation of contracts for computer software, network equipment and other products. We are looking at consolidating IT services, rather than retaining separate department-by-department services. In addition, we are in the third year of a four-year plan to reduce energy costs through replacement of inefficient heating and cooling units and light fixtures.
  • Build partnerships with the UC Office of the President and other UC campuses.We are engaged with UCOP and other campuses in multiple initiatives to generate savings through enhanced productivity. For example, UCLA generates revenue by providing business services to UCOP and the Merced campus, and other partnerships are being explored.

I encourage you to review the budget plan presented by UCLA to the UC Office of the President, which includes additional details about how we intend to implement our share of the reductions.

UCLA is fortunate to have tremendously talented and dedicated students, staff and faculty who contribute to the economic and social welfare of our state by generating important new knowledge and addressing pressing civic challenges. Every year at commencement we provide to California and the nation the extraordinary minds that will protect and transform our future. Through innovative thinking, I am confident that UCLA will adjust to new economic realities and remain a beacon of opportunity among the world’s leading research universities.

Nevertheless, it remains essential that we remind lawmakers how vital UCLA and the rest of the UC system are to the future of the state. Please join our advocacy effort by clicking the Get Involved link at


Gene D. Block

Chancellor’s Budget Message

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
UCLA Office of the Chancellor

To the Campus Community:

Today, Governor Jerry Brown announced his California budget proposal for 2011-12. As we expected, the plan includes a reduction of $500 million in funding for the University of California.

UC President Mark Yudof has issued a statement responding to the proposal and outlining its possible impact on the UC. I encourage you to read his message here.

During the next several weeks, we will have a clearer understanding of how the latest cuts will affect our UCLA campus budget specifically. Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh, who chairs UCLA’s Restructuring Steering Committee, will oversee our efforts to meet the latest budget reductions. As it has since its inception in February 2010, the RSC will continue to develop strategies for decreasing our dependence on state support and making our operations as efficient as possible.

In addition, we will intensify our development of new revenue streams. I am determined to ensure that we can continue to offer a quality education for our undergraduate and graduate students and to sustain our innovative research through these difficult times.

In the coming months, as the legislature considers Governor Brown’s budget, it is essential that lawmakers understand the impact of further cuts to the UC. Please join our advocacy effort by clicking the Get Involved link at Budget information is always available at the UCLA Newsroom.


Gene D. Block

Message from the Chancellor

Friday, September 24th, 2010

To the Campus Community:

Welcome to the commencement of UCLA’s 2010-11 academic year.  I am delighted to greet the newest additions to our Bruin family, including more than 8,000 freshmen and transfer students.  Selected from a record number of applicants, our new students are an extremely talented and diverse group who represent 55 countries and 41 states and territories.  Approximately 30 percent of our first-year students would be among the first generation in their families to graduate from college, reaffirming UCLA’s vital role in the development of California’s future leaders.  All of our students will contribute a broad range of interests and experiences to further enrich our campus community.

I am pleased to acknowledge distinguished new leaders serving in key roles this fall.  Our new dean of the UCLA School of Law, Rachel Moran, whose appointment is effective October 15, joins us from the UC Berkeley School of Law and UC Irvine School of Law, where she was a founding faculty member.  From within the UCLA family, Randal Johnson was recently appointed interim vice provost for international studies; James S. Economou is our new vice chancellor for research; and Christine Littleton will assume the role of vice provost for diversity and faculty development on October 1.  Please join me in extending congratulations and in supporting them in these critical positions.

We enter this new academic year facing continued uncertainties in funding from the state of California.  As a result, we will carry forward the campus-wide 5 percent budget cuts that were implemented during the last academic year.  We will also continue efforts to streamline campus operations, and to increase efficiencies and cost-saving measures, while remaining focused on preserving the integrity of our extraordinary workforce.  I am happy to report that UCLA employees’ salaries, which were reduced over the past year through the furlough program, have been restored.  In addition, library hours that had been reduced as a cost-saving measure have also been reinstated.

In spite of the economic challenges, we continue to work together to advance the excellence that defines UCLA.  Our goals continue to be aligned with the four core principles that serve as the framework for the university’s strategic priorities—academic excellence, diversity, civic engagement and financial security.  Although the new academic year will present challenges, especially financial, there also will be extraordinary opportunities for the institution to move in new directions.  The campus continues to grow as we strive to meet the needs of faculty, staff and students in developing a truly residential and family-friendly campus.  Planning for workforce housing remains a priority, new graduate student housing has just been completed and an additional childcare facility adjacent to campus has opened.

We have been strengthened by the support of our generous donors who contributed more than $379 million in 2009-10—an especially impressive sum given the nation’s economic picture.  In addition, we surpassed $1.1 billion in competitively awarded research grants and contracts in 2009-10, demonstrating the strength of our research enterprise.

UCLA faculty, staff and students continue to apply considerable energy and expertise to improving the well-being of our campus and the broader community.  We are on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2012, eight years ahead of the University of California’s target date.  Not surprisingly, students are playing a critical role in these efforts.  As an example, undergraduate Action Research Teams collaborated with UCLA Facilities Management staff to design our new campus recycling program.  Just this Tuesday, thousands of new Bruins, along with faculty, staff and alumni, participated in our second annual UCLA Volunteer Day.  This exciting new tradition exemplifies our commitment to civic engagement and to enhancing quality of life for Los Angeles.  It is a fitting way to begin a new academic year.

I look forward to seeing you on campus.  As always, I welcome your comments and ideas at, and I wish you a successful and rewarding year.


Gene D. Block

Budget Update 2010-11

Monday, September 13th, 2010

I have just returned from China, where it is time to celebrate the fall festival.  In a very real sense, the Library just received its “moon cakes” to celebrate.  In a letter sent last week by  EVC/Provost Scott Waugh, we learned  specific information with respect to the Library’s budget.  Recall that we received a general overview from the chancellor in July. 

The letter states that the campus is providing a permanent allocation to allow us to maintain Night Powell and to restore hours at all of the libraries, including on Saturdays.  We are working with units to determine exactly what the restored hours will be; they will go into effect as of the beginning of the fall quarter next Thursday.

The letter also contains good news about a significant permanent increase in allocation to support the Library’s central role in both undergraduate and graduate instruction.  I will post further information about how we plan to improve our services in this area when we have worked out more of the details.

 I very much appreciate the challenges you have all faced during the past year, and I hope this news provides welcome notice that the campus administration views the Library as a central, essential partner in UCLA’s academic enterprise.   I am very enthusiastic that we are now well prepared to enter the next phase of our history of providing excellent library services to the UCLA community.

Budget Update, 2009-2010

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Often you hear from me about what is anticipated in the budget reduction context.  I wanted you all to know that we have come full circle in completing our reduction commitments to the campus.  We have transferred $1.83 million that covers the 5% permanent reduction in our baseline budget and the $1.09 million that was required from our furlough and salary reduction targets for this year.  We were able to meet these targets through the incredible support and sacrifice of every staff person at the UCLA Library.  Each of you made a contribution to how we met the challenge.  I know it has been difficult.  I sincerely thank each of you for helping make this happen.  In the process we have preserved jobs, maintained our services, and continued to build our collections.  Our next task now is to reconstruct our baseline budget and to move forward.  Together we will continue to make progress and build a solid future for the UCLA Library.

Again, my sincere thanks.

Budget Q & A

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

A USC journalism student recently sent the Library a number of questions regarding the 2009-10 budget and the impact of its implementation on our users.  You may find the following slightly edited versions of her questions as well as the answers we provided of interest.

 Can people comment on the UCLA Library’s 2009-10 budget plan?  What’s the most effective way?

 The UCLA Library welcomes suggestions, questions, or comments from UCLA undergraduate and graduate students and faculty regarding its 2009-10 budget.  Submissions have been received via an email form on the Library’s budget Web site, emails to me, comments on this blog, and various UCLA-related Facebook pages.

How serious has the impact of the budget cuts been on collections, services, and facilities?

 It is important to remember that the UCLA Library is ranked among the top ten academic research libraries in North America and offers collections totaling more than 8.3 million volumes and more than 230,000 electronic resources as well as extensive services to support teaching and research and a campuswide network of facilities.  Collectively,  the libraries of the University of California have the largest collection in the nation and one of the largest in the world; all of these resources are accessible to UCLA students, faculty, and staff.

 Building on this solid foundation, the Library’s primary commitment is to sustain the excellence of its collections, services, and staff in support of UCLA’s students, faculty, and staff and to ensure that the Library emerges from this crisis strong, relevant, and sustainable. All actions are being taken with those goals in mind.

 Why were Saturday hours eliminated and evening hours reduced at the College Library?  Are there any alternatives when the College Library is closed?

 The only reduction in night hours at the College Library has been on Sunday nights, when it now closes at 6 p.m.  However, the Night Powell after-hours reading room opens at 6 p.m. on Sunday evenings and is open until 7:30 a.m. on Mondays, when the College Library reopens.  Given that, there has been no student feedback indicating that the 6 p.m. closure on Sundays has posed a problem.

 Regarding the closure of the College Library on Saturdays: that was the day of the week with by far the lowest usage levels, so Library administrators chose to instead preserve full operating hours on other, much busier days.

 Note, however, that the UCLA Library is not only a physical entity; it is also a virtual entity that never closes and that is far more heavily used than the physical facilities.  Among virtual offerings available 24/7 are electronic reserves; more than 230,000 electronic resources, including scholarly journals, reference sources, and digital collections; online reference assistance offered through the UCLA Library’s membership in the national 24/7 Academic Reference Cooperative; and user self-services including renewals, interlibrary loan, document delivery, and item paging from the off-site Southern Regional Library Facility.

Has the UCLA Library been working with any campus partners on actions to mitigate the effects of the budget cuts?

 Three highly visible examples of the UCLA Library’s cooperation with campus partners are:

  • working with the chancellor’s office and representatives from USAC to secure funding to restore the hours of Night Powell, the extended-hours reading room
  • working with faculty and students in the music department to adjust the Music Library’s operating hours to fit better with students’ class and rehearsal schedules
  • working with USAC and ASUCLA Academic Publishing to develop a campuswide solution that leverages Library-licensed/owned materials to lower the prices students pay for printed course readers

Countless other examples of cooperation are ongoing every day, though at an operational level and thus far less visible.  These include:

  • encouraging instructors to use electronic rather than print reserves, which makes reserve readings more easily accessible to more students
  • consulting closely with faculty regarding their collections needs for instruction and research during the current academic year
  • assisting faculty with modifying author agreements for academic publishing to retain educational re-use rights, which obviates the need for the Library to buy back scholarship generated at UCLA
  • supporting UC-systemwide efforts to make UC scholarship broadly accessible to the public via UC eScholarship and supporting national open-access efforts including federal legislation

Did UC or UCLA administrators have a say in how the UCLA Library made the necessary cuts?

 Consistent with UCLA’s decentralized structure, units have the flexibility to make adjustments to their own operations and programs in accordance with new funding realities.  Thus, I have made the decisions about how budget cuts are being implemented within the UCLA Library.  The one exception is salary savings achieved via the UC-wide furlough program mandated by the UC Office of the President; those reductions are being taken centrally.

 Both UC President Mark Yudof and UCLA Chancellor Gene Block have reiterated publicly their concerns about the present and future impact of the state’s serious financial condition on funding for the UC system.  They have also expressed cautious optimism about recent actions by the state’s leadership and are pleased by the positive response to their call for UC students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and interested members of the public to participate in advocacy efforts aimed at the governor and state legislators.

 Decisions were announced last fall on where the Library was making cuts.  Were those decisions final, or can changes be made in response to user input or changing circumstances?

 Adjustments in how the UCLA Library is implementing its budget cuts are made on an ongoing basis as necessary, often in response to feedback from UCLA students, faculty, and staff.  That flexible approach will continue.

 What’s going to happen with state funding next year?

 The governor’s 2010-11 budget and his statements in his final State of the State address regarding funding for the UC and CSU systems are encour

Budget Update for the Library

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

On Tuesday, I attended a briefing on the UCLA Budget Outlook.  While there will be campus-level information released shortly, I wanted to discuss with you the impact on the UCLA Library derived from the information presented in that meeting.

 For 2009-10 (the current year):  There will be no mid-year cuts to the Library’s allocation of state funds, but all reductions will stand.

  • A permanent reduction in state general funds of $1.8 million
  • From salary reductions and furloughs an amount of $1.1 million
  • Ongoing costs of charges for utilities, fringe benefit cost increases, deferred maintenance and employer contributions to UC retirement an amount of $1.1 million

This represented almost eleven percent of our state general funds. We have achieved the savings required to meet these targets by the end of this current budget year.

For 2010-11

UCLA is proceeding according to the following assumptions:

  • The Legislature will not restore the $305 million reduction in state general funds allocated to the University of California
  • There will be no new state general funds allocated to the university
  • It is unlikely that the proposed constitutional amendment can be passed in time to impact the 10-11 budget
  • UC retirement contributions will continue
  • There will be no more Federal stimulus funding
  • There will be no further legislative reductions in funding to the University of California

What this means for the Library

  • There is no plan, at this point, to request further new rounds of permanent budget reductions from the Library—THIS IS THE GOOD NEWS!
  • There will be no increase in the base of funding for the Library in 2010-11
  • There will be no restoration of state general funds previously reduced by UCLA for the Library
  • The costs for fringe benefit increases, utilities, deferred maintenance, and employer retirement contribution will continue at approximately the same level as previous years.  Note that retirement contributions will need to be made for the full year, instead of just three months in the current fiscal year, so the total figure will be higher


  • The Library must permanently implement the 2009-10 funding reductions ($1.8 million)
  • We will continue to bear the previously unfunded costs for fringe benefit increases, utilities, deferred maintenance, and employer contributions to UC retirement
  • We need to plan for allocation of a smaller operating budget in 2010-11 based on these previous reductions in State general funds
  • Academic and administrative restructuring efforts must continue
    • Service hours reduction
    • Assessment of impact of closure of branch libraries
    • Library acquisitions
    • Staffing levels
    • Implementation of new models of service in Special Collections and IT infrastructure
    • Study of costs of inter-library borrowing and lending

The Cabinet will continue to refine our strategic plan based on these assumptions.

Overall, I am cautiously optimistic that we can begin to plan within this new, lower base of funding for next year and look forward to your continued support in that effort.  Please let me know if you have questions, comments, or suggestions.