Tuesday, March 1, 2011

2011-03-01 "UC Davis may ax 500 jobs to cope with budget cuts" by Laurel Rosenhall from "Sacramento Bee" newspaper
UC Davis will probably eliminate 450 to 500 jobs, charge students extra fees and make it harder for California students to be admitted as a result of Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to cut $500 million from the University of California's statewide budget.
UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi listed those changes in a letter to UC President Mark Yudof that outlined how the cuts would affect the campus.
UC Davis' plan assumes the campus will face a $107 million shortfall in 2011-12, Katehi wrote, because the state is sending less money to the university at the same time UC plans to spend more on salaries, health care and funding its retirement plan.
Her proposal is, in some ways, a "best-case" scenario because it does not address the deeper cuts likely if voters or legislators reject Brown's proposal to continue tax increases.
"We have not prepared a full 'Plan B' scenario involving cuts to the university of $1 billion or more in the event that the governor's proposed tax extensions fail," Katehi wrote.
On Monday, students from around the state gathered at the Capitol in Sacramento to lobby legislators against budget cuts to the UC system.
UC Davis' budget plan includes a mix of cuts, efficiencies and ways to bring in more money. Katehi said it will probably result in students finding it even harder to get into the classes they want.
"This will undeniably impact our students," she wrote.
Katehi proposes admitting more students from outside of California – because they pay a higher tuition – to bring UC Davis an additional $4 million next year, adding more students to summer session for an additional $4 million and charging students a new "course material fee for technology support" to bring in an additional $1 million to $2 million.
She also suggests reducing energy use, eliminating middle management positions, and expanding an effort to share services – such as IT, payroll and human resources – among departments.
Eliminating programs and services – and the people who run them – is also part of the plan. Katehi's letter mentions cutting 4 percent to 8 percent of staff positions that are supported by the general fund.
UC Davis is offering a voluntary severance program in an effort to reduce the number of layoffs, said Kelly Ratliff, associate vice chancellor of budget.
But, she said, "It's hard to look at these numbers and not realize there are going to be fewer staff positions."
With almost 31,000 employees, UC Davis is the second-largest employer in the Sacramento region. Only the state government employs more people here.
Bob Powell, chairman of UC Davis' academic senate, said he was glad to see the chancellor responding to cuts with ideas about generating money and being more efficient.
"The way it's categorized is very different than simply assigning out cuts, which is the way it was done in the past," Powell said. "I think it's a very good conceptual framework."
That doesn't mean the changes will be easy, Powell said.
"I think academics will be affected; a lot of units will be affected," he said. "It's real money, and it's got to come from somewhere."

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