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Forum offers budget information in the wake of Prop. 30

11.30.2012

By Dateline staff

Students aren’t the only ones asking, “Proposition 30 passed. … Now what?” — but they are the first ones to organize a forum on that question.

The forum, scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 4), is the first stop for campus budget officer Kelly Ratliff on her round of talks with students, faculty and staff, intended in part to try to answer that very question. She is scheduled to meet with the campus Communications Council on Thursday (Dec. 6), and is arranging similar meetings with the Academic Senate and Staff Assembly.

Ratliff, vice chancellor of Budget and Institutional Analysis, will explain how Prop. 30’s approval on Nov. 6 saved the university system from an additional cut of $250 million in state funds, but that the proposition did not bring any additional revenue to the UC system.

Therefore, Prop. 30 did not do anything to erase UC Davis’ 2012-13 budget shortfall of $56 million — comprising a $5 million cut in state funds, $25 million in cuts that the campus did not address permanently last year, and $26 million in increased costs for salaries and benefits.

The student assistants to the chancellor have organized next week’s forum: “Prop. 30 … Now What?” It is open to everyone on campus, but the discussion will be student-focused — particularly around the topic of tuition.

“Tuition costs are an important factor in a student’s mind and having that be a discussion point is relevant to what a student would want to hear,” said Artem Trotsyuk, one of the student assistants to the chancellor.

The 2012-13 academic year began without a tuition increase — and Prop. 30’s passage ensured that there will be no midyear tuition increase.

Instead, the governor and Legislature agreed to “buy out” whatever the university could have raised itself in higher tuition for 2012-13. Now the UC system is asking the state to do the same next year, and to consider reinvesting in UC after years of cuts.

The Board of Regents earlier this month approved a systemwide 2013-14 budget that calls on Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Legislature for the following increases in state funding:

$150.2 million as a base budget adjustment of 6 percent.

$15 million for planning and start-up of the new medical school at UC Riverside.

Next year’s budget also assumes the state’s delivery of $125.4 million for the 2012-13 tuition buyout (the state deferred payment for one year) and asks for $126.5 million for a tuition buyout in 2013-14.

If the state does not come through with the funding, UC officials said, “the university would plan to increase mandatory systemwide tuition and student fees by an amount sufficient to generate $126.5 million, net of financial aid, to support core operating budget needs.”

Brown will declare his position when he releases his 2013-14 state spending plan, scheduled for Jan. 10. That will be the starting point for talks with the Legislature on the state’s next budget.

As for this year, UC Davis is still stuck with that $56 million shortfall. The campus is estimating that it can shave $3.5 million of that shortfall by increasing the enrollment of national and international undergraduates, and $4 million by continued efficiency efforts (the Shared Services Center, for example).

That leaves the campus with a $48 million hole to fill, not only for this year but every year thereafter — because that dollar amount represents ongoing expenses.

Reserves and other one-time actions will take care of all but $10 million of the problem this year.

The Tuesday (Dec. 4) forum is set to run from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in Griffin Lounge, first floor, Memorial Union. Check out the event’s Facebook page here.

Online

New this week: A one-page update on the campus’s new incentive-based budget model, including information on what’s different, what stayed the same and what’s next.

Budget news (look in the “Facts and figures” box for PDF links to the UC Davis budget overview and a fact sheet on 2012-13 student tuition and fees).

Budget and Institutional Analysis

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