May 26, 2009
To the Campus Community:
In the wake of last Tuesday's election, we are all greatly concerned about the budget deficit and its impact on the University of California and UCLA. You may have read that the state Legislative Analyst's Office has increased, yet again, the projected budget shortfall—from $21 billion, contemplated at the time of last Tuesday's election, to $24 billion.
There will be three levels of decision-making in the coming months that affect the severity and nature of cuts to the university: state government (legislature and governor), UC system (President Yudof and the Regents) and UCLA. We do know that the cuts will be severe, and there is no question that we are facing difficult and painful choices.
We are in no position at this time, however, to predict the level and extent of cuts to the university that may impact our current planning levels. Right now, I encourage you to visit http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/campus-budget.aspx for up-to-date information about the state deficit, and UC and UCLA actions.
As the governor and state legislature negotiate next year's budget, UC and UCLA will advocate for our critical needs and priorities, such as the Cal Grants program. Recently, as you may know, the media reported that the governor is proposing the potential elimination of Cal Grants, which would greatly reduce low-income families’ access to the University of California. I am deeply concerned about these recent reports. President Yudof has expressed similar sentiment.
Nevertheless, we face a difficult period of uncertainty. As we move through this process, please do what you can to stay informed, help the campus achieve cost efficiencies and continue to lend your voice as an ambassador for public higher education in California.
Gene D. Block