UC Santa Cruz Chancellor speaks at Board of Regents Meeting
UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal was one of three UC chancellors to present at the March 16 public session of the UC Board of Regents meeting, which was dedicated entirely to a discussion on the budget crisis.
This followed budget forums held by UCSC administration earlier this month that presented a clear message to the campus community: even the best case budget scenario is going to be a hard hit for UCSC. With an estimated $500 million system wide budget reduction, UCSC’s share of the cuts is expected to be $30.9 million.
In his 10-minute budget-impact presentation at the regent’s meeting, Blumenthal discussed cuts the campus has made in the past three years and fears of what cuts next fall with mean for the campus.
“The painful truth is that we are at the point of compromising educational quality. We are jeopardizing our role as a leading research institution,” he said. “And we are struggling to meet our basic public safety and fiduciary obligations. Our students, faculty, and staff are feeling the impact of these cuts.”
In the past three years UCSC has eliminated, defunded or reduced 316 staff positions, 110 Teaching Assistants (TA) positions and 80 unfilled faculty positions; further cuts could mean cutting 150 more staff, 120 more TAs and 40 more faculty jobs.
At the meeting, UC President Mark G. Yudof noted that while budget reductions have been substantial the past few years, cuts due to a lack of state funding is not a new thing for the university.
“This is not a blip. This is 20 years of reduced funding for the university,” he said at the meeting, according to UCSC’s website, news.ucsc.edu. “We need a long-term plan. Our collective job is to figure out how to do it.”
Blumenthal asked the board to do three things moving forward in the budget process: give individual campuses as much flexibility as possible in managing their cuts, attempt to secure multi-year budget stability and to “ keep all options on the table.”