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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Budget Matters (Part II)

As bad as the Governor's original proposal was, the budget situation is now worse.  While it is possible that the collapse of the budget talks will turn out to be political theater that seems unlikely.  Instead, we are faced with a situation where the already terrible cuts to education, health, work programs, and social services will become worse.  Although Jerry Brown and the Democrats are talking about placing an initiative on the November ballot there is no certainty that they will be able to get the signatures, if they do it will compete with numerous republican backed initiatives including one on pensions, would then be considered a tax increase rather than an extension, and might not pass.  And of course without revenues programs will be hit harder over the summer and fall--most likely falling most heavily on the poor, the elderly, the sick and the young. 

For Higher Education the fallout has already begun.  The Community College System now expect their cuts to double in size and have announced that they expect to slash enrollments by approximately 400,000.  CSU had already announced that they were cutting faculty, staff, and enrollments--and this was before the collapse of the Budget talks.  Neither the Regents or UCOP have issued any statements yet but given the recent Regents meeting there is little evidence that they have any compelling plans--either for the short or the long-term situation. UCOP had estimated that even on the best-case scenario there would be 500 million in cuts compounded by several hundred in rising costs.  We are now far from a best case scenario.

We will keep you posted in case there are any new developments.  But faculty and staff need to insist that they have a voice in whatever strategies are adopted.  Please share campus news here.


cloudminder said...

for some reason, when we click to read this full post the links were no longer in electric blue (like Newfield post also posted today) -- instead, the links were in that light burgundy color -- the burgundy color makes it hard for our eyes to discern that your text is a link. Would you be willing to change your settings for all your posts so that readers will have the benefit of knowing you are providing a link? rather than have to run the cursor across the words to find out if a link shows up?--anyway, that's our user feedback/request fwiw. thank you again for the valuable info and your take on what is currently going on.

Michael Meranze said...

I'll see what I can do.

Bronwen Rowlands said...

Oh, UCOP has plans all right. Don't wait for formal statements to be issued. At UCB, eight "shared service centers" are being formed. Last Friday, April 1, this memo went to IST staff. http://tinyurl.com/3fd3xgg
Bland, orwellian and vague ("production control center"?) the memo announces that "existing units" will be closed and "qualified applicants from the existing units are encouraged to apply."

Bronwen Rowlands said...

UC San Diego closes 4 libraries, including Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Grad School of International Relations & Pacific Studies: http://tinyurl.com/4nbxwvn

Bronwen Rowlands said...

UC Berkeley destroys the departmental integrity of Gender & Women's Studies, African American Studies, and Ethnic Studies; "restructures" staff.

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