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Regents scrutinize fiscal crisis at March 16 meeting

The University of California Board of Regents took the unusual step at its March 16 meeting of devoting its entire public session to analyzing UC’s budget crisis and discussing the tradeoffs inherent in various scenarios for coping.

The university faces a stark gap between diminishing state support and rising operational costs — a gap that will grow larger in coming years unless UC finds a stable source of revenue growth.

“This is not a blip. This is 20 years of reduced funding for the university,” President Mark G. Yudof told the board. “We need a long-term plan. Our collective job is to figure out how to do it.”

Yudof noted that UC already has made substantial budget cuts in the last few years, and that there currently are 8,000 faculty and staff positions unfilled. As the regents and UC administrators evaluate how best to go forward, preserving UC’s world-class research and education must be a priority, he said.

“In all the variables you hear today, there is one constraint and a guiding star we must follow and that is quality. Quality is non-negotiable.”

Regents Chairman Russell Gould proposed the daylong workshop to give the regents the fullest picture possible of the fiscal dilemma facing the university and the difficult choices that lie ahead.

Nathan Brostrom will hold a Brown Bag Lunch at the Franklin Building on Tuesday, April 12, 1 to 2 p.m., to discuss implications of the cuts for OP’s budget.

Go to the UC Newsroom to read Carolyn McMillan’s full story from the March 16 meeting.

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