October 14, 2010
ALL ACADEMICS AND STAFF AT UCSD
I am writing to thank you for all your work over the past year in support of UC and public higher education.
As you know, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last week signed a budget that restores $199 million in state funding for UC. An additional $106 million in one-time federal stimulus funds brings UC's total funding restoration for this fiscal year to $305 million.
The budget also includes the first new state funding for enrollment growth since 2007. The budget allocation of $51.3 million will support 5,121 of the 16,000 students for whom UC currently receives no state funding support.
We also received $14 million for increases in retiree health benefit costs. And while the state made no allocation for its share of the employer contributions to the UC Retirement Plan, the Legislature eliminated a statutory prohibition that barred any new state funds from being used for UCRP.
The Legislature also adopted budget bill language asking for the Legislative Analyst, the Department of Finance and UC to work together on a proposal to fund UCRP in the future. This is a very positive sign.
UC is not yet fully funded, but this year’s state budget allocation is a significant improvement over the past few years. In fact, UC and CSU were among the few entities in the state budget to receive an increased appropriation. As a result, UC will be able to begin restoring course offerings and essential student services.
Faculty, staff, students, alumni and other members of the UC community played a crucial role in getting us to this point. UC advocates sent more than 34,000 e-mails to Sacramento over the course of this year, emphasizing the importance of continued investment in public higher education. And many of you took the time to join us at advocacy days in Sacramento to make the case personally to legislators.
Permanent state funding support for UC still remains 10 percent below the level of 2007-08. So we must continue our efforts in the next budget cycle. But for now we should celebrate the fact that we’re moving in the right direction. Thank you for all you have done to make the case for higher education and to support the students who are our state’s future.
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With best wishes, I am,