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January 5, 1998

Budget talks embrace 'all-funds' strategy

By Jim Burns

Faced with staggering cuts in state funding in the early 1990s, UCSC administrators created a fiscal-planning process in which academic and nonacademic divisions, representatives of the faculty senate, staff, and students became key players in the development of each year's campus budget. Even though state support for the university has stabilized in recent years, that "open" process is still helping the campus produce annual budgets that close the gap between proposed expenditures and available revenues.

"Our internal planning strategy now must utilize an 'all-funds' approach which encourages units to look at all of their possible sources of revenue," says Richard Jensen, associate chancellor for Planning and Budget. "In this new budget climate, UC's Office of the President is giving each campus additional flexibility in determining how it manages its resources--but that comes with additional responsibilities and budget obligations."

To foster discussion about the campus's spending priorities, the Office of Planning and Budget organized three budget-consultation sessions during the fall quarter. Attending the sessions were Chancellor Greenwood, Executive Vice Chancellor Tanner, the deans and vice chancellors, faculty from the Academic Senate's Committee on Planning and Budget, representatives of the colleges, and students. The goal of the sessions was twofold: to identify and discuss campuswide issues that have resource implications and to provide the deans, vice chancellors, and other administrators an opportunity to present an overview of resource issues specific to their divisions.

"We are preparing resource projections for a three- to five-year period," says Karen Eckert, UCSC's budget director. "We want to provide the deans and vice chancellors with more predictability regarding the resources which are likely to be available next year and in the years that follow." As part of that process, the campus's academic and nonacademic divisions have developed--or are in the process of developing--intermediate-range plans that will provide a budget blueprint through the first few years of the next century.

"Our assumption is that money provided from the state won't be enough to do anything but meet our most basic needs," Eckert says. "We are encouraging divisions to think creatively about how they will develop the nonstate resources that will be needed as UCSC grows in the 21st century. We must train managers to become good 'leveragers' of resources."

That philosophy, adds Jensen, is consistent with the "partnerships" theme of Chancellor Greenwood's administration. "We are in a new era in which the establishment of public and private partnerships is essential if we want to maintain high-quality programs and develop new ones," he says.

The next budget consultation session is planned for February.

For information presented at the most recent fall-quarter budget consultation session, go the following Web address: http://www.ucsc.edu/ucsc/planbudg/misc/economy/

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