May 26, 2003
Chancellor urges support for governor's proposed
By Scott Rappaport and Jennifer McNulty
Although the University of California was spared from additional cuts
in the revised May budget recently announced by Governor Gray Davis,
UCSC must still be vigilant in the fight for financial support from
the state Capitol, noted Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood.
At the third annual staff breakfast, Chancellor Greenwood,
standing, visits with staff members (left to right) Greta Gil,
Jude Pipes, and Paul Bauman. Also standing is Ben Webb; Marcia
Marquardts back is to the camera.
Photo by Louise Donahue
"It is important that we continue to educate our legislators
about the critical necessity of supporting our university," the
chancellor urged at the third brown-bag staff forum of the academic
year, on May 19.
Greenwood expressed cautious optimism about the May announcement,
but noted that given the uncertainty of state politics, the budget could
still be cut by as much as $400 million. She pointed out that in the
past three years, UC's enrollment has grown by 18 percent while its
state-funded budget has decreased by 6 percent.
"We are very anxious that the governors revised budget will
hold," she told the capacity audience at the Earth and Marine Sciences
lecture hall. "But there is still an $8 billion structural deficit
in the state of California budget, assuming that all of the governors
budget proposals are implemented."
Campus Provost John Simpson provided a brief update on UCSCs
response to the states economic crisis, estimating that the campus
is facing approximately 15 percent in designated and undesignated cuts.
He emphasized that UCSC is approaching budget planning in a manner that
is unique among other major universities around the country, emphasizing
priorities and operational improvements rather than making across-the-board
percentage cuts. Simpson then turned the floor over to Scott Nostaja
of AVCOR Consulting, an organization hired by UCSC to assist the campus
in the long-term budget planning process.
Nostaja gave a 20-minute overview of the status report prepared for
the Executive Budget Committee (EBC), which has been appointed to serve
as an overall advisory body to the chancellor and campus provost on
budget issues and priorities. The report detailed the kinds of initiatives
that three campus working groups have been exploring in response to
the budget crisis. (The working groups are described at: http://planning.ucsc.edu/ebc.)
Nostaja noted that from January through March, members of these working
groups have met with more than 700 members of the campus community and
received 200 suggestions through a campus web site. During that first
stage of the project, 180 ideas were examined and analyzed. These ideas
were narrowed down to 49 for the second stage which will run through
the end of May.
Ideas ranged from using better technology to modernize Human Resources
and Payroll Services to redesigning the freshman experience and the
delivery of core courses. Other suggestions have included reexamining
key academic leadership positions, as well as exploring new areas of
revenue growth such as a cell tower commission and setting up a campus
business to sell cell phones to students.
Nostaja said that the third stage, in June, will involve prioritization
of ideas, and the final phase will entail developing detailed plans
and approaches for implementation.
The chancellor spent the last half hour of the forum fielding questions
about such issues as the campus policy on severance pay, the START voluntary
time-reduction program, and new housing for faculty and staff. She observed
that the campus is working to collaborate with the city of Santa Cruz
on providing future housing for faculty and staff.
"We are hoping that the city and university can join together
to build affordable housing, particularly on the West Side," Greenwood
said. "For the first time in a long while, the city has begun to
understand that we are part of the economic recovery plan."
Two days later, an overflow crowd packed the Stevenson Dining Hall
for the third annual staff appreciation breakfast sponsored by Greenwood
and the UCSC Staff Advisory Board (SAB).
Nearly 1,000 staff members RSVP'd for the "Pancakes and Jazz with
M.R.C." event, according to University House events coordinator
Live jazz by the Kevin Mitchel Quartet contributed to the festive mood,
which was further enhanced by the chancellor's announcement that each
staff member will receive a $210 bonus to recognize his or her commitment
The crowd lingered to have a chance to win raffle prizes that included
a dinner for six prepared in her home by psychology professor Faye Crosby,
a $100 gift certificate to the Shadowbrook Restaurant contributed by
Social Sciences Dean Martin Chemers, $100 at the Crow's Nest contributed
by Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor John Simpson, kayak
trips, personal training sessions at the Wellness Center, gift baskets,
"I think people just really like this kind of venue," said
Ed Titus, outgoing chair of the SAB, as he gestured to the courtyard
where dozens of staffers enjoyed the sunny spring morning as they devoured
pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, and fresh fruit.
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