TO THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY
As you may know, Governor Schwarzenegger recently released the "May Revision" to his State budget proposal, and the 2010-11 State budget process has now begun in earnest.
The May Revision was very positive for UC, proposing the restoration of $305 million that was cut from the University's budget on a "one-time" basis in 2009-10, and offering $51 million to cover a portion of our unfunded student enrollments. I was particularly heartened that the Governor also proposed full funding for the Cal Grant program, which is critical to our efforts to preserve affordability for students.
All of this was included in a budget that unfortunately proposes significant spending cuts to most areas of the State budget in order to close a $19 billion budget gap.
Separate from the operating budget, the Governor also has proposed $355 million in capital construction bond funds for facilities projects on UC campuses. These projects would stimulate private-sector job creation and take advantage of current construction costs while also addressing a number of pressing facilities needs.
The May Revision is only one step in the process. The Legislature must develop its own spending proposals, and the Governor and Legislature must agree on a final budget. Already, some members of the Legislature have expressed their opposition to some of the deep cuts in social services proposed in the May Revision.
Final decisions over spending priorities will be especially difficult this year, but I hope lawmakers will agree that an investment in UC is an investment in the people and programs that can help lift the state's economy. We will continue pressing the case for supporting the quality and competitiveness of the University. In fact, Dean David Marshall and I recently wrote an op-ed, published in the San Francisco Chronicle on May 21, urging legislators to support the funding for UC.
Further updates will be provided as more information becomes available. If you would like to become involved in advocating, as a private citizen, for the University of California's budget needs, I encourage you to join the UC for California network at http://www.ucforcalifornia.org/ucsb/home/. This site provides UC supporters with an easy and quick way of communicating their support for public higher education to their elected representatives in Sacramento.
Henry T. Yang