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UC Budget Transparency, Not Emergency

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To the UC Regents, We, the undersigned students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members are writing in response to President Yudof´s announcement of his plan to make up for the decrease in state funding. 1. We oppose the move to award President Yudof “emergency powers” when no documentation of a financial emergency exists. In fact, the decrease in the funding from the state of California amounts to only a small percentage of the University of California’s budget.(1) The university´s own financial statements indicate that many options exist for covering this shortfall such as using the billions in financial reserves,(2) the fundraising ability of the university(3) and other sources of UC income(4) that could be re-oriented toward specific current needs. Furthermore such a move violates the bylaws of the UC system.(5) 2. We demand a FULL disclosure of the budget before any decision is made regarding the increase of student fees, pay-cuts, furloughs and layoffs. Increased financial transparency has been an ongoing demand of both unions and concerned individuals. But UC administrators have not been cooperative. Without justification, the Regents have already dramatically increased student fees and have made cuts to education, research and patient care. We call for an independent financial analysis of the university to help us fully understand the available options. This financial analysis must be conducted by an auditor mutually agreed upon by stakeholders in the university--students, members the Academic Senate, employee unions, unrepresented employees, and Regents. Until this takes place, increases in student fees and further cuts to faculty and staff are unacceptable. 3. Finally, cuts in bonuses, stipends and salaries to UC top executives, as well as a moratorium on new hirings, make more sense than continuing with these exorbitant salaries. These many issues of concern show us that the UC community cannot simply accept the facts as presented by President Yudof. Sincerely, Footnotes: (1) In the 2007-2008 fiscal year UC received $3.13 billion from the state of California. Under the governor’s current proposal this would drop to $3.07 billion in 2008-2009 (with the help of federal aid) and to $2.63 billion in 2009-2010. This $500 million decrease represents 2.5% of the $20 billion UC budget. (2) $7.2 billion exists in the Short Term Investment Pool, a reserve fund separate from endowment and retirement funds. http://www.ucop.edu/treasurer/invinfo/COI_IAG_Perf_Summary_3-09.pdf (3) UC has seen steady increases in gifts and donations, most recently reaching $1.6 billion raised during the 2007-2008 year. http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/accountability/index/12.9 (4) UC receives revenue streams from medical center income (where 2009 profits already exceed those of 2008), federal grants (expected to increase by hundreds of millions at UC in 2009-2010 due to stimulus research funds), contracts, patents and other activities. (5) According to the Standing Order, which would give the president emergency powers, certain conditions must be met such as the “reduction of University expenditures such as travel, equipment, non-operating expenditures and non-essential services proposed.”


The Student Worker Activist Team (SWAT) is a coalition of students and workers at the Berkeley campus organizing to stop the UC administration attack on us through fee hikes, pay cuts and contracting out UC jobs.
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