'95-96 Budget Is Seen As 'Beginning of Financial Recovery'

The University of California will receive $1.92 billion in state general funds for the 1995-96, an increase of 3.5 percent over last year. The budget will mean no general fee hike for students and funds for increases in faculty and staff salaries.

This year's funding, said UC President Jack Peltason, "marks the beginning of our financial recovery. This budget is good news for the talented and hard working faculty, students and staff of this university."

In deciding to keep fees at last year's level, the legislature and governor agreed to help UC make up revenue that would have been generated by a proposed 10 percent fee hike. The additional $28.5 million approved in the budget covered 75 percent of the lost fee revenue.

"We have already begun looking at our options for accommodating the $9.5 million shortfall," said Peltason.

The governor and Legislature also provided UC with a $161 million capital budget for '95-96 devoted in large part to seismic and safety improvements.

The Berkeley campus's share of this allocation is $17 million, which will fund construction of the long-awaited Dwinelle Hall expansion project ($10.7 million) and the second step of seismic safety improvements to Doe Library ($4.8 million).

Also included are funds to prepare architectural plans for seismic corrections and programmatic improvements to the Hearst Memorial Mining Building ($1.6 million).

For students, this will be the first time in nine years that there will be no general fee increases, although there will be an increase for some professional school programs. New students at Boalt Hall and the Haas School of Business will pay an additional $2,000 a year.

For all eligible employees, the budget includes funds for a normal 2 percent merit increase. It also includes funding equivalent to salary range adjustments of 1.5 percent for all employees and an additional 1.5 percent parity adjustment for faculty, effective Oct. 1.

"Although faculty salaries will still lag about 7.5 percent behind our comparison institutions, we will at least not lose ground this year, and under the governor's compact we will be able to close the competitive gap over the next three years," said Peltason.

In addition to dealing with the $9.5 million shortfall from keeping fees the same as last year, UC is committed to $10 million in permanent budget cuts and $13.3 million in temporary budgets cuts through delays in filling positions and postponing purchases of equipment and supplies.

Although the passage of the budget included an increase in state support, Berkeley will continue to restructure its budget to align expenditures with available revenues.

These efforts are necessary because of two factors. First, Berkeley has used temporary measures to buffer a portion of its permanent budget reductions since 1990.

As a result, despite this year's improvement in state funding, budget reductions averaging 2.5 percent have been assigned for the 1995-96 fiscal year.

To protect the campus's instructional program, these reductions have been applied only to the non-teaching portion of departmental budgets.

Second, as part of the four-year compact with the governor, a productivity cut of $1.7 million was assigned to the campus this fiscal year, and a similar permanent budget reduction will be assigned to campus in each of the next three years.


Copyright 1995, The Regents of the University of California.
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