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02/11/2016

Chancellor: UC Berkeley faces deficit, difficult decisions

The chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, says the flagship school is running a $150 million deficit and must undertake a top-to-bottom review of expenses to sustain its national standing.

 

Chancellor Nicholas Dirks notified the campus in a letter Wednesday that he has initiated a process aimed at cutting costs and boosting fundraising.

 

Dirks says every aspect of UC Berkeley will be open to evaluation and that the university faces difficult decisions as it works to preserve its long-term financial footing.

 

Consolidating academic programs, evaluating spending on athletics, shedding staff and admitting fewer doctoral students are some of the changes that will be considered.

 

A budget review prepared by Berkeley administrators blames the deficit on reduced state funding, increased pension costs and five years without in-state tuition increases.

 

After a series of increases during the recession, tuition and fees for undergraduate students from California has remained $12,291 since the 2011-12 academic year. It is not expected to rise until 2017-18 under a deal UC President Janet Napolitano struck with Gov. Jerry Brown.

 

In response to a public outcry, Napolitano, who is a former U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and Arizona governor, also capped the percentage of higher-paying students from outside the state that Berkeley and UCLA could enrol.

 

Dirks' letter did not include many details on how the scope of Berkeley's academic and extracurricular offerings might change. On the academic side, the chancellor said some programs would be beefed up, while others would be given a narrower focus or rearranged to "ensure sufficient scale."

 

The campus will get input on the planning from faculty, staff, students and alumni, the chancellor said.

 

Along with looking at how the university spends money, the review Dirks has ordered also will appraise opportunities for the campus to bring in more revenue through licensing, donor-supported athletic scholarships and online courses, his letter said.



    Editor:Albert | Source: The Associated Press


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