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$40 Million Shortfall Will Mean Furloughs and Layoffs at UC Riverside

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The state’s growing budget shortfall will mean budget cuts at the University of California, Riverside that likely will include furloughs, layoffs and pay cuts to achieve up to $40 million in annual savings during the fiscal year that starts July 1.

“It’s draconian,” said UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White, noting that faculty and staff both must shrink by about 15 percent, mostly through attrition.

“Unfortunately, there are more questions than answers  at this time about how all this will work,” but he promised to share answers as soon as they are determined.

The latest information, including a video message from Chancellor White, are posted at a Budget News Web site at http://budget.ucr.edu

“Let me be very clear. I am deeply concerned by these cuts,” said White. “We are being forced into misguided and short-sighted actions that are an ‘anti-stimulus package.”

Developing human capital and knowledge is the only way to recover and strengthen the economy. We are necessarily taking actions in the opposite direction.”

White said that UC throughout the system may implement furloughs on the order of 16 days, of which 13 will be taken on holidays that are now paid. White noted that 16 furlough  days would save UCR $10 million a year.

If they are implemented, lowest paid employees may be exempt from the furloughs, but the cutoff salary had not been determined.

In addition, Chancellor White’s pay and that of the executive vice chancellor and provost, the UC president and vice presidents will be cut by 5 percent starting July 1.

Salary reductions for additional senior leaders may be forthcoming.

White said there will be more cuts in the 2010-11 fiscal year.

“We can’t just raise student fees or furlough faculty and staff” to close the budget gap, he said.

He asked campus leadership to consider the possibility of consolidating and/or eliminating programs. “Some of these are likely to be very fine programs that, in normal budget times, we would continue to support,” he said.

He said cuts will be made so that the delivery of core academic services will not be affected. Ladder faculty will teach more since there will be fewer lecturers and teaching assistants.

“We need to get smaller so we can maintain quality … we cannot abrogate world-class quality.”

At his May 21 Town Hall meeting the chancellor said that while he thought cuts of $19 million to UCR’s 2010-11 budget would be sufficient, the worst case reduction was estimated at $26 million.

He explained that the dramatic difference now in UCR’s budget gap was caused by the release of a new budget by the governor who interpreted the failure of budget-related ballot measures as a voter mandate to slash programs instead of increasing taxes.

The Governor’s proposal to phase out Cal Grants would have “a devastating impact on many students and their families,” White said.

The proposal would impact more than 2,100 of UCR’s students.

With a smaller pool of needbased financial aid, efforts to balance out aid awards would harm other UCR students as well. “Our enrollment could be seriously affected,” White said.

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