Gov. proposes $100 million in cuts to UC

    Attempting to lower the state of California’s $8 billion budget deficit, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed $100 million in cuts to the University of California for the current academic year as part of a $1.9 billion budget reduction package.

    The cuts, which must be approved by the state legislature by early January if they are to go into effect, would include cutting $24.7 million in state funding to UC outreach funding, effective Jan. 1; withdrawing $2 million in funding for labor studies for the remainder of the academic year and $18.4 million in unallocated cuts; and transferring $55 million of revenues from land sales at UC Riverside from the UC budget to the state general fund.

    Last year, state monetary support for the University of California was cut by $654 million, with student fee increases offsetting $230 million of the loss.

    The budget cuts extend into the 2004-05 school year, with unallocated cuts rising to $55 million while support to labor institutes was slashed by $4 million. The state would also save $33.3 million next academic year from eliminating support for UC outreach programs, essentially decimatinga program already trimmed by 50 percent last year.

    ³California is facing a major budget challenge, and as a result, pain and sacrifice will have to be spread widely across the state,”” UC President Robert C. Dynes stated in a press release. ³We at the University of California recognize that we need to play a role in the state’s solution to its budget gap.””

    The University of California Student Association has objected to the hikes, saying that the governor is taking money from education to pay for the reductions to the vehicle license fee. The UCSA has found the cuts to outreach programs especially objectionable.

    ³Gov. Schwarzenegger is breaking his campaign promise right out of the gate,”” UCSA Vice Chair Anu Joshi said. ³Student-initiated outreach programs in particular give UC students the opportunity to mentor, tutor and advise kids who would otherwise not have access to crucial information to go to college and robs needy kids of role models who encourage and support their pursuit of higher education.””

    The reduction could also adversely affect the state’s economy, according to the UC Office of the President.

    According to an economic impact report prepared by consulting firm ICF, the University of California provides the education necessary for managerial and professional jobs, has been responsible for the establishment of 290 companies and employs more than 370,000 people, constituting more than 2 percent of all employment in California.

    aIt is important for all to recognize that every additional budget cut to the University of California is a painful cut,”” Dynes said. “”Our ability to preserve this institution’s world-class quality and continue making a major contribution to California’s economy will be compromised by these growing budget cuts.””

    The university has not yet decided how it will determine the $18.4 million in unallocated cuts. During the Board of Regents meeting on Nov. 15, the Regents announced that further hikes in student fees and enrollment caps would be possible responses to budget cuts.

    The California State University system would also be affected by the governor’s cuts, losing $92 million in funding over this academic year and the next.

    The Office of the President has scheduled a special meeting to discuss the budget at UCLA on Dec. 1. The forum, open to students, will include Dynes, Chancellor of the California Community Colleges Thomas J. Nussbaum, Chancellor of the California State University system Charles B. Reed and Anaheim, Calif., Mayor Curt Pringle.

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