Earlier today, I spoke with the Academic Senate about our budget challenges and our planning for the 2009-10 year. As you know, the state recently adopted a budget that reduces UC system-wide funding by $115 million. Based on that, we project that the campus will need to permanently reduce its budget by $13 million in the next fiscal year.

Earlier this week, I began consulting with the Academic Senate on my preliminary budget-reduction targets for each academic and administrative division. I have also communicated those to all principal officers and asked that they proceed now to plan for budget reductions on the basis of those targets.

In my comments this afternoon, I provided members of the Senate with details about the principles, assumptions, and approaches I took in developing these reductions. I encourage you to read these comments.

I have not assigned across-the-board budget reduction targets. Rather, to the extent possible, I have assigned budget reductions in a way that seeks to preserve a quality educational experience for our students and a productive research environment.

I also want to acknowledge that the essential functions that support instruction and research extend far beyond the immediate classroom, laboratory, or academic division. In fact, these essential functions take place within every division on campus.

I know that it can be difficult to imagine a bright future in the midst of implementing budget cuts of this scale. However, the campus has made great progress over the last decade even while state support declined significantly. By working together, we can do more than imagine. We can lay the groundwork for a future that excels in meeting the needs of tomorrow's students, faculty, and staff.