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Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Brown's Budget--A Preliminary Look

Jerry Brown released his proposed 2011-2012 Budget this morning.  The full document (all 266 pages) can be found here.  I hope to have some analysis on the overall budget sometime soon but for now I simply wanted to direct your attention to the Higher Education section of the budget which can be found here.  Much of this section appears, to me at least, to be vague but several points do stand out:

1) Brown is not proposing to cut Higher Ed in the 2010-2011 budget year.  In fact, his proposed funding for this budget year is actually increased over the 2010-2011 budget. (148)

2) But there will be significant cuts in 2011-2012 for all sectors of Higher Education compared to Brown's revised 2010-11 Budget.  As you can see in Higher Ed figure 1 UC will face13.3% General Funding Cut amounting to 388.5M; CSU gets a general funding cut of 12.5% with a dollar amount of 326.1M and the CC system will receive a General Fund and Prop 98 Cut 6/9% with a dollar amount of 432.5M. (148)

3) In his accounting Brown is making a strong and significant division between General Fund and Total Funds as regards higher education.  This distinction is quite normal but in this instance the budget summary draws a great deal of attention to the fact that the budgeting (and the cuts in General Funds) is predicated on the recent Tuition and Fee increases at UC and CSU as well as a proposed fee increase at the Community College level.

4) The Budget also insists that how the approximately 500M in cuts to UC and CSU each will be made will be done in conjunction with stakeholders in each system.  (150, 151)  (I am assuming although I may be wrong that the 500M number is primarily the cut in General Fund and the loss of ARRA or equivalent funding).

5) What strikes me as of interest in the way that that discussion is set up is that Brown insists that the cuts must be targeted in ways that do not lead to more tuition increases or enrollment cuts.  This position is in sharp contrast to the comments on a proposed fee increase for the Community College System where the budget defends the relative lack of expense of the system even with increased fees.

6) Put another way, the Budget suggests to the Regents and to the CSU Board that tuition increases will be counted against general fund support--not as something that can be added onto it.  The systems will now be losing funding relative to the amount they shift onto students.  It suggests that Brown is no longer willing to have tuition go up inexorably unless UC and CSU are prepared to lose out on all General Fund support.  


Anonymous said...

Yes, if point 6 is right then UC is truly boxed into a corner: either fewer instructors/TAs and bigger classes with decreased quality for everyone, or cuts in financial aid and accessibility for the low and middle income students.

Bob Samuels said...

I have a post on how Gov. Brown plans to use students and unions to cut the UC budget by $500 million: http://changinguniversities.blogspot.com/2011/01/brown-asks-uc-students-and-unions-to.html

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 2:03PM

there are other options besides bigger classes, decreasing aid, etc, such as, uh, pay cuts and benefits cuts, or layoffs.

cloudminder said...

Perhaps the $161 Million slush fund for Chancellor's homes and the real estate etc. can be looked at closely as a part of this work?

FYI- the release of the state audit findings on UC has been moved to April 2011.

Anonymous said...

cloudminder, the "slush fund" you refer to is the Searle Endowment, established in 1919. I agree it could be spent on better things, but the university can't legally spend more than 4-5% of it per year. So $7M might available, not $161M. And I bet despite the past excesses, a lot of those funds are being spent on essential maintenance. At best this will get you to 1% of the needed budget cut.

anonymous @2:29: I don't really see much appetite anywhere for more furloughs. Of course layoffs are going to happen. That is what causes increasing class sizes. The overwhelming majority of the state budget for UC is paying people involved in instruction. Less money equals fewer people and less instruction.

cloudminder said...

i will wait to hear a position from the legislature, governor and/or AG on "but the university can't legally spend more than 4-5% of it per year."-- they may hold different views.

I am sure that the regents will drag their feet on thinking creatively.

Anonymous said...

Yudof's response to proposed UC Budget from Gov. Brown


AndrewD said...

The $500 M cut is spelled out as a change from 2010-11 as follows

+ $106,000,000 (replacing ARRA funds)
+ $ 7,089,000 for Retired Annuitant Benefits
+ $ 726,000 Lease Revenue Debt Service Adjust.
- $ 2,405,000 Expiration of Repayment Funding
for Deferred Maintenance Loan

-$500,000,000 Budget Reduction

NET CHANGE -$388,590,000

cloudminder said...

also, anon 3:36:
i am not just talking about the $161 M in the fund.

I am also talking about the actual value of the real estate systemwide e.g the UCSD Chancellor home is seven acres ocean front property - if no one wants to live there, why keep it?

Anonymous said...

Gov Brown in his briefing https://www.calchannel.com/channel/viewvideo/1939 says that if the tax continuations he proposes are not passed by the voters, he will have to cut more deeply and one of the only places he can cut more is the University. So this $500 million cut is just the starting point AND we get NO restoration if the tax measures pass.

Anonymous said...

It's not ocean front property by any means, it's several miles away from the ocean, but it has a great view of the bay, from up in the hills of Kensington. the gardens are open to the public on weekdays, but never on weekends, when staff are actually able to go. Originally the deal was that the estate was supposed to be kept private for the UC President and his family, but, since they are never there now, it's more that we can't afford to keep it staffed.

cloudminder said...

anon 8:39,
I was talking about UCSD.
Blake house is the UC President home.
We are familiar with them.
You might want to check out the various issues with the Chancellors homes at each campus.

Anonymous said...

Unless the Regents grow a conscience, nothing Gov. Brown attempts will have more than a moderately equalizing effect on UC expensiveness. As has been the case for at least 25 years, THE WRONG PEOPLE ARE IN CHARGE.

Unknown said...

University of California rejects Gov Brown budget,
Dees speak louder than words
Gov's inuguration $100,000
Chancellor Birgeneau spends $3,000,000 for consultants to do the WORK of his job and of his many vice-chancellors.

Let there be light on University of California Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau

Anonymous said...

Regarding a previous anonymous comment: the Searle Endowment, established in 1919. I agree it could be spent on better things, but the university can't legally spend more than 4-5% of it per year.

This is almost certainly incorrect. Federal Law requires a minimum payout. There is no maximum payout.

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