Budget work group to eye priorities

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw has appointed a budget planning work group to advise her on budget deliberations for the remainder of this academic year and for 2003-04.

"As you know, the campus is facing a great deal of uncertainty with respect to the state budget," Hinshaw wrote in an appointment letter to the work group. "Additional cuts at some level are all but certain for this year and next year.

"As we move toward 2003-04, it will be necessary to develop a framework for meeting all of the reductions (known and anticipated) permanently," Hin-shaw continued. "More-over, the opportunities and challenges associated with continued enrollment growth, and the state buy-out of the summer session, need to be addressed in a multi-year budget plan. I need your help developing the priorities, pro-cess and consultation framework for making these decisions."

Work group members include Theodore DeJong, chair of the Academic Senate's Com-mittee on Academic Planning and Budget Review; Marj Dickin-son, assistant vice chancellor for government and community relations; Janet Hamilton, vice chancellor for administration; Barbara Horwitz, vice provost for academic personnel; Bob Loessberg-Zahl, assistant executive vice chancellor; Bruce Madewell, chair of the Academic Senate; John Meyer, vice chancellor for resource management and planning; Bennie Osburn, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine; Judy Sakaki, vice chancellor for student affairs; Steven Sheffrin, dean of the Division of Social Sciences; and Maril Stratton, assistant vice chancellor for public communications.

Hinshaw also asked the work group to "partner" with her in communicating about the campus's budget.

"Open, honest, frequent and broad communication with the campus community is key to a successful outcome from the budget process," she wrote. "I will rely on you to help me deliver information about the budget throughout the planning and decision processes of the coming year."

The governor and Legislature last month cut UC's organized research programs by 10 percent and its "core needs" budget (for deferred maintenance, libraries, and instructional equipment and computing) by 20 percent, and eliminated most funding for UC's K-12 School/University Partnership and ArtsBridge programs while encouraging the use of carryforward monies to stabilize these outreach programs until replacement or fee-for-service funds can be secured. They also required that an additional $750 million be permanently cut yet this year from state operations.

While the UC president's office "will aggressively negotiate on behalf of the university to minimize the impact" of this added cut, Hinshaw has advised deans and vice chancellors to anticipate the possibility of a mid-year, core-fund reduction.

Hinshaw allocated 2002-03 budgets to vice chancellors and deans last month, providing funding for faculty growth positions, academic support and supplemental instruction, while passing along state-mandated cuts to organized research and outreach programs and assessing a 1.7 percent one-time, across-the-board reduction in general funds.

The 1.7 percent assessment was announced last April as a measure to help offset an expected $9 million shortfall in energy funding. The state's finalized budget has caused the campus's funding gap to grow, but the provost won't ask deans and vice chancellors to absorb a greater cut.

"I will direct central campus resources to partially buy-down the core needs reduction to mitigate the need for additional across-the-board reductions," Hinshaw said. "Moreover, I will exempt organized research and outreach programs from this 1.7 percent across-the-board reduction."

Hinshaw said her 2002-03 budget decisions were guided by these priorities:

  • enhance the quality of faculty-student interactions;
  • improve working conditions and reduce workload for staff;
  • increase research opportunities for the campus; and
  • accelerate the capital program, where possible, to accommodate growth.

"By working together, we can achieve these priorities," she told deans and vice chancellors. "This will require all of us investing our resources, strategically and aggressively, in activities related to these priorities."

For example, Hinshaw said she will fully fund "an aggressive expansion" of the Freshman Seminar program, including additional administrative support and full funding for faculty stipends and mini-grants for seminar instructors. She also encouraged deans and vice chancellors to hire staff proportional to workload, and asked Vice Chancellor for Research Barry Klein to propose a new model for allocating existing research match funds "to fully leverage these resources."

For the latest budget news, continue to check www.news.ucdavis.edu/budget/.

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Amy Agronis, Dateline, (530) 752-1932, abagronis@ucdavis.edu

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