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Message from Chancellor Robert Berdahl:
Maintaining excellence amid lean budgets

31 January 2003

To the Campus Community

Dear colleagues,

As you know, the downturn in the economy has significantly affected public institutions across the nation and particularly in our state, where Gov. Gray Davis has proposed nearly $373 million in state funding cuts at the University of California systemwide as part of his 2003-04 state budget proposal.

The budget process is in its early stages, and a final budget will not be approved until summer. However, we are anticipating significant reductions.

First and foremost let me assure you that during our budget process our highest priority will be to sustain and enhance Cal’s academic and professional programs.

For specific recommendations on how to absorb these budget cuts, retain our position of academic and service excellence, and ensure a fair and reasonable process, I have established two new committees, which are now being empanelled.

The first will be the Executive Budget Steering Committee. It will receive recommendations from several working groups that will develop options for making reductions affecting particular functional areas. I will chair this committee.

I have also established the Budget Advisory Committee, which will provide advice on specific budget reduction strategies developed by the Executive Budget Steering Committee. The Budget Advisory Committee will include members from the Senate faculty, staff, and the student body – encouraging campuswide participation.

A set of core principles will guide the campus’s 2003-2004 budget including our commitment to academic excellence; to seeking new sources of revenue; and minimizing layoffs. Our process will be expeditious and transparent. We will communicate our decisions to the university community on and off campus in a clear, concise, and timely manner.

Ours is a dedicated and resilient community. We have faced these obstacles before and emerged with our excellence intact. With your assistance, we will do so again.

Robert M. Berdahl

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