To the Campus Community:
I know that all of us are deeply concerned about the serious economic conditions facing the nation and California and how they impact UCLA. I want to update you on steps we have taken recently to adapt to these budget realities.
Last Friday, April 3, 2009, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh asked the deans and vice chancellors to plan for a 5 percent across-the-board reduction in funding. This is based on our estimates for UCLA’s portion of cuts in the state’s allocation to the University of California for next year and a contingency for possible further reductions in state funding.
As you know, we face a very difficult and uncertain environment. The state’s legislative analyst has estimated that state revenues next year will be $8 billion below the assumptions contained in the budget stabilization measure approved by the legislature and governor in February. As a result, further cuts may be proposed at the time of the revision of the state budget in late May.
Additionally, on May 19, 2009, California voters will vote on five ballot measures proposed as part of the stabilization package. The outcome of these measures could have a significant bearing on UC funding and, therefore, our operations. I encourage you to register to vote, if you have not, and to take the time to inform yourselves about the measures. You can obtain information about the election as well as the ballot arguments about all the propositions on the Secretary of State’s Web site at www.ss.ca.gov.
I know many of you have questions about the impact of budget reductions on merits, the potential for layoffs, whether furloughs are being contemplated by UC, etc. You will find more specific information at UCLA’s budget Web site, www.ucla.edu/about/budget. I encourage you to visit this site, which is updated frequently as information becomes available to us. We continue to welcome your suggestions for cost savings and revenue generation; please submit them at this same Web site. I have also asked deans and vice chancellors to keep staff, faculty and students informed about the status of the budget.
Not all the news is bad. Our overall fundraising for this year looks good. We are on pace to raise more than $350 million. As you may know, just over two months ago, I announced the Bruin Scholars Initiative, which will generate $500 million for graduate student fellowships and undergraduate scholarships by June 2013. It will double the amount of endowed funds dedicated exclusively to student aid. Already, we have raised more than $21 million.
I am deeply grateful for all the efforts you are making to operate as efficiently as you can. We must continue to serve well the nearly 40,000 students who entrust us with their education. I am honored to lead one of the world’s truly distinguished institutions. I look forward to working with you as we deal with the challenges that lie ahead.
Gene D. Block