One of the hallmarks of the University of California, and UCLA has always been its commitment to shared governance, including all members of the campus community in important committees, workgroups, and taskforces that are charged with the responsibility to make and adopt policy recommendation. This year, two such groups that GSA has worked hard to ensure our representation have been the campus Budget Toolbox Committee and the UC Commission on the Future.
UCLA Restructuring Steering Committee
The Budget Toolbox project was designed to support campus academic and budgetary planning in the face of current and anticipated additional budget cuts. Because of severe financial pressures, UCLA must develop plans for sustaining academic strength through
(i) cost savings and increased efficiency, (ii) increased non-state revenues, and (iii) strong alignment of academic programs with institutional priorities.
The Project was initiated in December 2008, when UCLA was planning for budget cuts
of approximately 5 percent. The recent intensification of the State budget crisis is likely
to lead to cuts that are far more severe than expected. In light of this situation, the Budget
Toolbox Project takes on a special importance and urgency.
In Phase I of the Toolbox Project, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh convened three task forces: Cost Savings and Efficiency Task Force, Revenue Task Force, and Academic Programs Task Force. After advocating for the importance of student representation, the Toolbox Project has formally evolved and Chancellor Block has asked Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh to chair a Restructuring Steering Committee (RSC), which is overseeing efforts across campus to make academic and administrative operations more efficient, less expensive and less dependent on state support. The committee is following up on last year’s “toolbox reports,” and will generate and analyze new ideas—two student representatives will be members of this committee and graduate representative nominees will be selected by GSA President Jamal Madni.
[link to official document here]
UC Commission on the Future
Over the summer, University of California Board of Regents Chairman Russell S. Gould launched a commission that will shape a far-reaching vision to ensure excellence and access to UC in the future while addressing acute financial challenges resulting from the state's fiscal woes.
Chairman Gould and UC President Mark G. Yudof serve as co-chairs of the Commission on the Future of UC, created in conjunction with Board of Regents actions approving a plan to offset an anticipated $813 million reduction in support from the state general fund.
The UC Commission on the Future will address that question and others as it develops a vision for the future of the state’s public research university – one that reaffirms UC's role in sustaining California's economic and cultural vitality, while recognizing that limited state funding will require creativity and new strategies to meet that mission.
The Commission and its five working groups – on the size and shape of UC, its education and curriculum, access and affordability, and funding and research strategies – will be meeting through March to consider, among other issues:
- What is the right size and shape of the University going forward? Where should it grow, or should it?
- What educational delivery models will both maintain quality and improve efficiency for UC's future?
- How can UC maximize traditional and alternative revenue streams in support of its mission?
For a full list of Commission membership please see, http://ucfuture.universityofcalifornia.edu/membership.html
The commission welcomes what you think and can communicate your comments at: http://ucfuture.universityofcalifornia.edu/feedback.html
The Staff contact at UC Office of the President is Marsha Kelman, who can be reached at (510) 987-9712
Finally, Student Regent Jesse Bernal, Student Regent Designate Jesse Cheng, and UC Student Association President Victor Sanchez are also members and can be contacted with questions, comments, and/or concerns.