In fall 2021, I convened a campus budget workgroup—comprising members of the budget office, Academic Senate representatives, and school and administrative leaders—to assist in developing a multi-year plan to resolve a projected structural deficit in the general campus’s core operating budget (which excludes the medical center and auxiliaries such as housing and dining).
On the one hand, UCI has received outstanding support from the state in the budget that has just been approved by the legislature. However, even with this support, it is projected that expenditure increases will continue to exceed new core revenues.
A large portion of projected expenditure increases are associated with a commitment to higher salaries for faculty and staff. This is not a surprise, because salaries and benefits comprise almost 80% of core expenditures. Still, this commitment to higher salaries is a very high priority for the campus, and strategies moving forward should not come at the expense of this commitment.
Over the last several months, a number of factors including high inflation, reduced investment earnings, and continued operating needs related to the pandemic have accelerated the pace and scale of the projected structural deficit. In order to prioritize protections for salary increases and to ensure that the campus can continue to make much-needed investments in other high-priority areas, I am accepting the advice of the campus budget workgroup to proceed with immediate mitigation measures. Based on this guidance, I have decided to impose a 3% across-the-board cut to core fund budgets for all units in the current fiscal year. The budget workgroup will evaluate additional steps to strategically reduce costs and pursue increased revenues in the coming years.
We will continue to assess the overall budget situation to ensure the campus has the resources necessary to make progress on our most important priorities as outlined in our strategic plan. If you haven’t already, please review the recently circulated draft of the refreshed strategic plan and provide your input here.
I recognize the challenges that this cut presents. Thank you for the important contributions you make every day in advancing our mission, and for your assistance in helping to ensure a sustainable financial future for the campus.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Chancellor’s Professor, Department of Statistics