August 23, 2009 10:35 AM

budget cuts budget cuts evverywhere

i'm sure its no news to anyone that uc berkeley has fallen victim of california's budget crisis. Throughout this past semester, the effects have been felt everywhere! Tuition fees have gone up, library hours have gone down, and even dear fresh faces has ended financial sponsorship of its bloggers.
according to san francisco business times, 500 million dollars of UCB's 1.8 billion budget has been provided by the state, but that number is sure to decrease given our current situation. Thanks to private sponsorship, the school can keep its head above water...but what if we run out of those? Read the rest of the story here:

The Blue and Gold’s budget is turning red.

Robert Birgeneau, chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, said Tuesday that the school anticipates a budget shortfall between $60 million and $70 million for the fiscal year starting July 1, calling it “an unprecedented number for us.”

A fee increase of up to 9.3 percent for undergraduates will partially mitigate the budget cuts, but cannot make up the entire shortfall.

The state provides about $500 million of Berkeley’s roughly $1.8 billion budget. State cuts will account for half of U.C. Berkeley’s budget shortfall. Some $15 million in temporary cuts for this fiscal year will become $10 million in permanent cuts for the 2009-2010 fiscal year. About $8 million in state cuts could be restored if California receives a sufficient amount of money from the stimulus package, but U.C. Berkeley brass aren’t counting on that in planning next year’s budget. About half of the budget shortfall comes from increased obligatory expenses such as utilities, health benefit increases, negotiated salaries and the like.

About half of the budget shortfall will be made up through cost savings, both permanent and temporary, Birgeneau said.

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer emphasized during the call that the university will make every effort to ensure that the budget cuts will not undermine the quality of Berkeley’s undergraduate education.

“Very early in this process, we made a collective decision to prioritize the maintenance of the undergraduate curriculum,” Breslauer said, adding that he plans to increase the provost’s contribution to curriculum support.

While some cuts have yet to be determined, others have been announced, including a staff hiring freeze and a program that allows employees to cut back their working hours without jeopardizing their benefits. Also awaiting approval from the president’s office and regents is a proposal to furlough some staff and faculty members.

“Layoffs will be part of our financial strategy, but because we don’t yet know about the furlough programs and others we are considering, we are not able yet to determine to what extent layoffs will be necessary at individual levels,” Birgeneau said.

Each unit at the university has been asked to submit permanent cuts of 8 percent of their budgets.

Many private donors have stepped up in the face of these big budget cuts. Birgeneau said that private giving over the past eight months since the Hewlett Foundation announced its $113 million challenge grant has been the largest in U.C. Berkeley’s history.

Birgeneau said he expects the financial challenges will continue at least through 2011.

Angela Hsu | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (0)

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