To the UCLA Community
As the new year unfolds, many of our faculty, students and staff have expressed concerns about UCLA’s budget outlook, and especially the potential impact of budget reductions on their livelihoods and quality of work and student life. Each of us is concerned about the emerging financial and economic crises gripping the nation. While UCLA is a strong and vibrant national research university, we are not immune from the serious challenges facing the nation and the state of California.
We are particularly concerned about the impact of the recession on funding from the state. The state of California is experiencing an unprecedented fiscal crisis. The solutions to that challenge remain elusive. While support for the University of California is strong among our elected officials, all areas of the state budget are being reduced. State funding for UCLA this year is at least 6 percent below our needs. It is virtually certain that further cuts will occur next year.
I want to assure you that every possible measure is being taken to minimize the impact of these budget cuts on our vital teaching, research and public service programs. I have directed our deans and vice chancellors to reduce the hiring of new faculty and staff and to reduce spending on discretionary items. We also have established a rigorous planning process for 2009-10 to examine every conceivable opportunity to save money while preserving the overall academic quality of our university. We also are participating in the university’s overall advocacy campaign to maintain and build support for funding of public higher education.
Our faculty, students and staff are our best allies, and I want you to be well-informed about the challenges we face. To begin this dialogue, I recommend you visit and bookmark UCLA’s Budget Web site at www.ucla.edu/about/budget. It includes answers to frequently asked questions about the budget and its impact on UCLA, links to further information and resources, and information about how you can become involved or offer suggestions to help UCLA through these challenging times.
Thank you for your support and commitment to this great university. I look forward to our continuing conversations.
Gene D. Block