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The Budget Squeeze

At a glance

28 August 2009

September 23, 2008

Gov. Schwarzenegger signs a California budget that reduces UC’s 2008-09 state funding by a total of $48 million from the previous fiscal year. Nearly three months late, the budget fails to provide an additional $100 million for increased student enrollments and rising costs of utilities and health benefits, leaving the UC system in a $148 million budget hole.

October 23, 2008

Chancellor Birgeneau, informed that Berkeley’s share of state cuts will be $5 million, urges faculty and staff to “take immediate steps to reduce campus spending” in areas that do not affect teaching.

December 31, 2008

With the state’s economy in shambles,Schwarzenegger proposes additional cuts; Berkeley administrators project the campus’s budget shortfall at $25 million in 2008-09, rising to as much as $70 million in 2009-10.

March 8, 2009

Campus administrators announce an immediate staff-hiring freeze, an expansion of the voluntary START work-reduction program, and a temporary reduction in faculty searches from 100 a year to 25. All units are directed to plan for an 8 percent permanent budget cut.

April 10, 2009

UC Berkeley’s Voluntary Separation Option (VSO) is announced, another campus effort to reduce expenses.

May 19, 2009

California voters defeat three ballot measures intended to soften the impacts of the state’s economic crisis, effectively boosting the size of UC’s budget shortfall to $813 million and Berkeley’s to $150 million. Campus scenarios now call for an average of 20 percent cuts to all units in 2009-10

June 18, 2009

UC President Mark Yudof announces three options for systemwide furlough/salary-reduction plans, proposing 8 percent salary cuts for most staff and faculty.

July 10, 2009

Responding to feedback from staff and faculty, Yudof proposes a revised plan calling for a “graduated approach” to mandatory furloughs and salary reductions ranging from 11 furlough days (4 percent cut) to as many as 24 days (10 percent cut). The plan is expected to save the system $184 million. The UC Board of Regents approves the plan the following week.

July 17, 2009

Regents Chair Russell Gould launches a Commission on the Future of UC to “shape a far-reaching vision to ensure excellence and access to UC in the future while addressing acute financial challenges resulting from the state’s fiscal woes.”