I'm writing to update you on our budget planning.

You'll recall from my last update that I've asked each campus principal officer to submit, by January 9, two or more scenarios for reducing expenses in their areas of responsibility by 10 percent. While it is not our intent to adopt across-the-board budget cuts, we need to understand how such cuts would impact our core teaching and research endeavors; this exercise will help.

On Friday I wrote again to principal officers to say we will begin a comprehensive review of cross-functional activities that might represent opportunities for better collaboration and/or cost savings. In January we will establish small working groups to undertake these reviews in parallel with our other budget planning exercises. This most recent letter is available here for your review.

Finally, you may have read or heard about news reports over the weekend regarding cost-cutting proposals from the governor, including temporary partial work furloughs for state employees as soon as February 2009. With the state economy still in decline and no clear path to a legislative solution, I expect that we'll see other such proposals. Reporting or commenting on all these proposals would not be useful.

As I've promised before, we will inform you about all definitive news on budget-related issues as soon as we know it.

For now, I wish you and yours a peaceful holiday season.