Mark Yudof, President
University of California
Yesterday I found a new document, titled “The UC Budget: Myths & Facts”, posted at the top of the NEWS column on the web site of the University of California Office of the President, WWW.UCOP.EDU Are you the person responsible for that load of lies and half-truths?
Many of the misstatements in that document are things that I have pointed out before in my writing and speaking to top officials of this University. My earlier critiques have not been answered; they have just been ignored as your team continues with their program of misinformation. Here are the worst examples. (Quotations are indented below.)
Fact: UC’s budget is made up of many different fund sources, but most of them are restricted to specific uses and cannot be used for other purposes. A federal grant for laser beam research can’t be used to fund a deficit in the English Department. A payment for a surgery in a UC hospital can’t be redirected to fund graduate students.
Here is the true picture of restricted and unrestricted funds coming into UC (originally published in my paper “Financing the University – Part 17” on 12/15/08.) Unrestricted funds are those monies over which The Regents have full authority to designate use.
Table 1: UC Expenditures of Current Funds 2007-08 (in $ Millions)
|Tuition & Fees||1,591||0|
|Special State Appropriations||0||426|
|Private Gifts, Grants & Contracts||12||1,255|
|Endowment & Similar Funds||235||167|
|S/S Educational Activities||1,477||0|
|S/S Auxiliary Enterprises||785||0|
|S/S Medical Centers||4,459||0|
General Funds means state money. S/S means Sales & Services of.
Source: UC Campus Financial Schedules, Schedules D
In the latest Budget, one reads of $5.4 billion in “core funds”, which are defined as General Funds plus Student Fees. But we see that this accounts for only 39% of all Unrestricted Funds spent by the University last year! So your claim about “restricted” funds is a lie.
You say “A payment for a surgery in a UC hospital can’t be redirected to fund graduate students.” That is a half-truth. In fact there is a surplus income from the UC medical enterprises, amounting to around $1 billion a year, which is distributed to faculty in the Medical Schools as “bonus pay”, on top of their regular academic salaries. A portion of that money could be redirected to other pressing academic needs in these times of budget stringency: that would be called shared sacrifice. You and The Regents have authority to implement such a strategy.
Fact: Senior management salaries represent less than 1 percent of the total payroll at UC. Salaries have been frozen for the 340 members of the Senior Management Group, and bonuses or incentive payments have been canceled or deferred as well.
In previous papers, “Financing the University – Parts 12-14”, I have demonstrated that there is a much larger constellation of management bureaucracy throughout UC, which has grown enormously over the past decade and is now estimated to waste some $600 million per year. The Senior Management Group, which you talk about here, is just the tip of that iceberg.
necessary to maintain the quality of the academic program and student services.
What you call the “funding for per-student education at UC” is a piece of accounting fraud that I have repeatedly criticized. The numbers you use to calculate that actually cover all of the costs for faculty research work throughout the academic year as well as undergraduate plus graduate educational programs. When I disaggregate that bundle of expenses, it turns out that undergraduate student fees now cover the full per-student cost for UC to provide undergraduate education. So the reduction in state funding is really a cutback in the faculty’s research program. That is a lamentable loss, but it is totally unjustified to dump that cost onto undergraduate students (and their families). These same facts also eradicate the justification for your claim that the state has failed to provide funds for “enrollment growth”, since the student fees cover all of that cost.
I look forward to your response.
Professor Emeritus of Physics
The papers referred to above may be found on my web site,