In response to California’s budget crisis, University of California is dealing with a $109 million dollar reduction in its funding. University officials are grappling to find ways to cut nearly 16% of its operating budget. The new budget took effect on July 1st, so the challenge has been to find ways to shrink operating costs.
One way to offset this challenge is through salary cuts for university employees. Salaries have been reduced by 5-8% under the plan, which have accounted for $32-36 million dollars in savings. Inevitably, the university will have to cut course offerings, degree options, and student enrollment in order to meet the deficit.
Some worry that the cuts in course offerings will impact the UCLA’s overall credibility as a leader in higher education. Students may have to take fewer credits to obtain degrees, wait longer for course offerings, or seek external funding for tuition. There is also the controversial topic of higher tuition fees for certain subjects such as law, engineering, and social work. Also, there are inherent impending challenges for in-state applicants who are competing for spots with out-of-state students who are charged larger tuition fees.
In the face of these devastating cuts, current students are scrambling to secure funds, credits, and resources necessary to complete their degrees. Students who are expecting to graduate are faced with tagging on extra semesters to complete courses needed to complete their degrees. The reduction in course credits can also impact student’s qualifications for financial aid and campus housing. In addition, class sizes are expected to increase which will create a greater workload for professors.
Until the responses to these budget decisions are finalized, UCLA students, professors, and employees must do what they can to be proactive about dealing with the cuts. University officials pledge that they will make sure that the quality of education is not compromised in the process. UCLA maintains exemplary programs that attract a range of top-notch students, both nationally and internationally. It is the hope of the regents that the budget cuts will not impact the university’s overall standing in the competitive college environment.
UCLA Press Release: http://www.today.ucla.edu/portal/ut/worsening-state-budget-crisis-94283.aspx