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UC Riverside: The Other Budget Shoe Drops

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New round of cuts announced

By Chris Levister –

First came news in June that a lack of state funding has placed the accreditation for UC Riverside’s medical school on hold until 2013. The other shoe dropped Tuesday.

In a letter to campus staff, Chancellor Timothy White said the latest cuts will inflict “real pain on individuals” – in other words, layoffs. It’s unclear which, or how many, workers might lose their jobs.

In an effort to trim spending during the 2011-2012 fiscal year, White announced $12.8 million in cuts from individual campus units.

While the cuts will be made to both the academic and the administrative support operations of the campus, nearly two-thirds of the burden will be taken by the administrative support units.

Some departments are losing up to 9 percent of state funding.

Business operations, which manages human resources, technology services, transportation and accounting will be among the hardest hit.

Campus police and core faculty will go largely unscathed. The university will also spare employee retirement funds and financial aid to students who need it.

Overall, the UC system is facing a $1 billion gap for the 2011-2012 budget year, which translates to approximately $46 million for UCR.

Chancellor White says the cuts would’ve been deeper if the UC Board of Regents hadn’t raised tuition rates this month by nearly 10 percent, on top of an 8 percent increase it imposed last year.

Undergraduate and graduate tuition for California residents will jump to $12,192 a year, which doesn't include room, board and about $1,000 in campus fees. That's $1,890, or 18 percent, more than the amount UC students paid in the previous academic year and more than three times what they paid a decade ago.

About one-third of the estimated $216 million in new tuition revenue will be used for financial aid. Out-of-state and international students will pay about $36,000 in annual tuition.

California's system of public higher education has long served as a model of access, affordability and academic excellence, but it's come under severe financial pressure during the last few years as the state slashed funding to close massive budget deficits caused by the economic downturn.

As a result, students at UC, the 23-campus California State University system and 112 community colleges have seen their tuition bills soar even while campuses reduced course sections, shrank teaching staffs, eliminated academic programs and reduced services.

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0 # Guest 2011-07-22 09:45
Thanks for this informative article letting your readers know just how much the state's colleges are cutting back, even with fee increases. My unit is not replacing at least two staff who have left or retired, ending up with 11 in place of what used to be 13. The staff advisors are working with over 500 students each!

At UCR, we're deeply proud of our record in recruiting, educating and _graduating_ outstanding students, with a high proportion from first-generation college families or from all of California's diverse communities. I'm not just spouting the press release here: I feel the pride personally. We wish we could do more, and offer even better support, but I feel we stretch every state dollar pretty far in taking care of our students.

California's citizens need more honest and clear reporting on the damage that is occurring.

BVN National News Wire