Campus budget update

January 14, 2021
Kim A. Wilcox
January 14, 2021

Dear Campus Community:

On Friday, Governor Newsom released his proposed fiscal year 2022 budget. If signed into law, the proposed budget would increase the University of California’s ongoing funding by $136.3 million from current levels. 

I am grateful that discussions of higher education spending are now headed back in the right direction and am especially appreciative of the Governor’s proposed investment in a new UC Program in Medical Education for Native American communities, which is particularly needed at this time. 

My enthusiasm is tempered by the fact that this proposed budget would restore only about a third of the deep cuts implemented last year and does not account for mandatory annual cost increases.

The Governor’s proposed budget is the first step in the state’s budgeting process for fiscal year 2022 that will not conclude until the final state budget, which may look quite different than Friday’s proposal, is signed into law in June or July. 

The budget proposal has little impact on our need to implement budget reductions over a two-year period and does not affect our fiscal year 2021 shortfall in both our core and auxiliary/self-supporting program budgets. Should the Governor’s recommendations be implemented by the legislature, the projected size of our budget shortfall over the next two years would be reduced from upwards of $95 million to approximately $75 million – still within the lower range we modeled for the core budget reduction targets recently approved by the Provost.    

UC Riverside is projected to receive approximately $45.4 million in one-time funding – with a minimum of $14.8 million of these funds earmarked for student financial aid – via the most recent CARES Act signed into law in December. Please note that these are one-time funds and don’t address the reduction to our core permanent budget. We are awaiting information from the U.S. Department of Education on our flexibility for use of these funds, and will keep the campus updated on this.

UCR and our colleagues across the system will continue to advocate for additional federal stimulus funding for states and higher education. 

Determining the budget for fiscal year 2022 is a process and we will continue to evaluate our position, including enrollments and a host of other factors that impact the overall budget.

While it’s important that we continue planning and preparing for a challenging fiscal year 2022, I’m cautiously optimistic that we are moving in a more positive direction regarding state and federal funding. Thank you for the challenging work you are doing to reduce budgets and manage expenses during such a difficult time.