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UCR Strategy on Budget Cuts

UC Riverside Outlines Campus Strategy in Response to State Budget Cuts

UC Regents are discussing budget strategies at a meeting in San Francisco

(March 16, 2011)

A view from the bell tower of UC Riverside.Enlarge

A view from the bell tower of UC Riverside.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( -- UC Riverside Chancellor Timothy P. White outlined a general strategy for implementation of budget cuts to the campus for FY 2011-2012, cuts that are expected to be the subject of discussion at the March meeting of The Regents of the University of California.

UCR will focus on increasing revenues from non-state sources, decreasing expenditures at UCR in the state-funded portion of the campus budget, and seeking additional cost-savings from operating efficiencies.

White said the actions are necessary to meet the projected $50 million shortfall, which stems from a combination of state budget cuts and unfunded mandates. While saying he understood the potential for impacts to students, their families, faculty, staff, and others, White said the cuts must be applied to safeguard the future of the campus.

In addition, he said that the campus will protect certain mission-critical and future-focused programs and investments in order to sustain UCR’s mission in coming years, in keeping with the campus strategic plan. To the extent possible, he said, the campus will seek to minimize impacts on the student experience.

In more detail, the UCR approach will encompass:

Increased Revenues
UCR will seek to increase revenues through:
o Student fees (the 8 percent increase already approved for Fall 2011)
o Increased philanthropy
o Increased contract and grant activity
o Further entrepreneurial support of academic programs
o Additional technical and professional school fees
o Increased international student enrollment, particularly at the undergraduate level
o Establishing ground tax for auxiliary and self-supporting entities

State General Fund Reductions
UCR will decrease costs to the state general fund through:
o Separations, including attrition and layoffs
o Reducing campus activities and services, such as limited library hours, reductions in course offerings, and increased course size, thus impacting time to degree
o Creating a moratorium on fellowship support for weaker graduate programs. Restrict fellowship support to Ph.D. students and to Master’s degree students in programs in which the Master’s is the terminal degree
o Moving salaries from general funds to other fund sources, e.g., requiring the Summer Session Office to become fully self-supporting

Operating Efficiencies
UCR will seek additional administrative and academic budget efficiencies through:
o Downsizing, eliminating, or consolidating programs, including both administrative and academic programs, consistent with the strategic plan
o Creating administrative clusters
o Participating in systemwide efficiency programs
o Continuing the hiring chill by limiting recruitment to mission critical positions

Future-Focused Programs
UCR will continue to fund initiatives central to its strategic plan including investments in:
o School of Public Policy
o New, inter- and multi-disciplinary research programs
o School of Medicine
o Career development for assistant professors

Still on the Table for Budget Relief
UCR is considering other potential options for cuts, including:
o Removing preparatory education courses from the general fund, and asking students to take such coursework through University Extension or community colleges
o Restricting use of 19900 funds for faculty summer salaries to assistant professors and a small portion for department chairs
o Instituting campus-wide technology fees
o Downsizing the Palm Desert Graduate Center, and making it self-supporting

Background Information

• The total budget shortfall for 2011-12 at UCR is projected to be $50 million. Of this, $37.8 million is UCR’s share of the state budget reduction; $12.2 million results from additional obligatory costs such as mandates to cover rising costs in health care, benefits, and other programmatic obligations.
• $50 million is the equivalent of 392 faculty FTE or 793 staff FTE. $50 million is equivalent to the combined general fund budgets of the Vice Chancellors for Student Affairs and Finance and Business Operations (less operation and maintenance of the plant), Computing and Communications, and University Advancement.
• Guiding principles in consideration of cuts on the campus are based on UCR’s new strategic plan.
• UCR already implemented cuts to the budget year 2009-10. During that round, academic units were given lesser budget reductions of 3 to 4 percent, compared to 10 to 25 percent cuts for administrative units. Campus administration was reduced by one vice chancellor, with the portfolio distributed among other vice chancellors, resulting in $500,000 in ongoing savings. Administrative services centers were created in the area of Finance and Business Administration, centralizing financial management, purchasing, reimbursement, personnel, and payroll processing. Technology innovations were implemented to increase efficiency and accountability in the following areas: staff reclassification, equity review, job requisitioning, and other hiring functions; approval and management of capital projects; purchasing transactions; time reporting; and principal investigator reports for contracts and grants.

Other Trends in Recent Budget Years at UCR
• Faculty searches decreased from 46 in 2008-09 to 12 in 2009-10 and 34 in 2010-11.
• Staff searches dropped from an average of 200 openings at any given time to 50 currently. From 2008-09 to present, 152 staff positions on the state general fund have been eliminated. Approximately 100 staff layoffs are projected for 2010-11.
• The size of the average undergraduate lecture class has been increased by 10 percent when comparing Fall 2009 to Fall 2010.
• UCR’s Palm Desert Graduate Center has been dramatically downscaled, thus reducing service and outreach to this underserved area.
• Intercollegiate Athletics reduced scholarship funding as well as team and administrative travel.
• Library hours were reduced by 57 hours per week. Approximately 3,000 journals and hundreds of monographic standing orders have been canceled.
• Student services staff have been reduced in the areas of financial aid, campus health, student life, and career services, resulting in longer waits and reduced levels of services for students.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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