To the UCSF 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 efforts to preserve affordability for our students.
All of this was included in a budget that unfortunately proposes significant spending cuts to most areas of State expenditures in order to close a $19 billion 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 leverage currently advantageous 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 then agree on a final budget. Already, some members of the Legislature have expressed opposition to certain of the deep cuts in social services proposed in the May Revision.
Final decisions regarding spending priorities will be especially difficult this year, but I hope lawmakers will agree that an investment in UC ultimately 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.
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 www.UCforCalifornia.org. This site enables UC supporters to quickly and easily communicate their support for public higher education to their elected representatives in Sacramento.
Susan Desmond-Hellmann, M.D., M.P.H.
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor