A $46 million budget shortfall will require dozens of job cuts at UC Riverside, campus officials said Tuesday.
In a letter to faculty and students, UCR Chancellor Timothy White said major spending reductions would be necessary for the university to close its 2011-12 fiscal year gap, precipitated by the roughly $1 billion cut to the UC system in the state budget signed 2 and a-half weeks ago by Gov. Jerry Brown.
“Despite our best efforts and enormous lobbying activity, these cuts are significant and will inflict real pain on individuals and programs,” White wrote. “We must work together as we redouble our efforts to find non-general fund resources to support our activities, and to find additional efficiencies.”
The contraction in spending comes at the same time student tuition hikes take effect.
Last week, the UC Board of Regents approved a 9.6 percent boost in student fees, which followed an 8 percent increase ratified by the regents last summer. The total 17.6 percent spike in tuition will be absorbed by students beginning this fall.
The regents justified the increases by pointing out that, between 2008 and 2011, lawmakers had chopped appropriations to the UC system by 27 percent, from $3.25 billion to $2.37 billion.
During that same period, UCR slashed or phased out around 150 positions, according to Assistant Vice Chancellor of Strategic Communications James Grant.
According to campus officials, two-thirds of the cuts planned in the current fiscal year will be concentrated in administrative support functions, including human resources, technology services, transportation and accounting.
“The number of layoffs is in the dozens rather than the hundreds,” UCR spokeswoman Kris Lovekin told City News Service. “Each unit manager has the task of operating efficiently. Some managers choose to eliminate jobs that are already vacant, and they hope that when the budget improves, they will be able to recreate the position…Other people are actually laying off people and trying to get the
function handled in a different way.”
Campus police and “core ladder-rank faculty” — including tenured professors and assistant professors on a “tenure track” — will be largely spared cutbacks.
University officials said the retirement program for general fund employees, as well as financial aid programs for low-income residents, will also be preserved.
The UCR Graduate Division, Research Office and Office of University Advancement are each facing cuts of about 5 percent, relatively low amounts that reflect the administration’s goal to keep them whole for the purpose of attracting grants and philanthropic donations, according to the university.
Earlier this year, Grant told CNS there was a possibility the Palm Desert Graduate Center would be downsized to curtail expenses, but campus officials gave no indication that option would be exercised in Tuesday statement.