News & Views item - November 2008



California Mid-Year Budget Cuts Hit University of California's Ten Campuses for US$65.5 Million. (November 18, 2008)

The University of California (UC) system consists of 10 research campuses and receive about US$3 billion of operational funding per annum from the state of California.

Previously UC suffered a US$48 million year-over-year reduction that was included in its final 2008-09 budget. Earlier this month Mid-year state budget cuts proposed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger included a further budget cut of US$65.5 million for the University of California campuses in the current fiscal year.


A media release from the president, Mark Yudof notes that the final 2008-09 budget also leaves the university to achieve an additional US$100 million in savings to cover student enrollment growth and increases in fixed costs that were not funded by the state. As a result California's per-student spending for education at UC, adjusted for inflation and enrollment growth, has fallen nearly 40% since 1990.


Mark Yudof, who assumed the presidency of UC in June of this year, commented regarding the cuts:


We are of course disappointed to be facing another potential budget cut on top of the reductions we are already making this year. We believe higher education is crucial to California’s ability to grow its way out of this economic downturn, and we ultimately need to be talking about ways to improve investment in our state’s human capital.


We also recognize the severity of the state’s immediate fiscal condition and understand the need to play a constructive role in the solution. Actions that we take will of course be dependent on the budget actions ultimately approved by the Legislature and governor, and the Board of Regents will need to discuss these issues at their November meeting as well.