Following last week's rejection by voters of five ballot measures, we are bracing for another round of budget cuts to UC and our campus. These expected cuts come in the wake of $17.5 million in permanent cuts to UCSC since 2008.

We now confront a series of even more difficult choices, just as we prepare to absorb $13 million in funding cuts and mandatory cost increases taking effect this July 1.

Additional cuts of the magnitude being proposed at the state level would further impact access to classes and class sizes, and other vital student services.

We are now consulting with campus and Academic Senate leaders, and others, to develop a process for absorbing further cuts. While no one can anticipate how (or how quickly) the budget process in Sacramento will play out, we promise to share what we know when we know it.

In coming days and weeks, a wide range of budget-cutting proposals -- some real and some speculative -- will circulate in the news media and elsewhere. Already, we have seen a proposal to eliminate Cal Grant funding, which would profoundly impact over 4,000 UCSC students and their families. This would be especially troubling for a campus uncommonly committed to undergraduate education and serving an unusually high proportion of first-generation college students and students from low-income families.

We are tracking all scenarios being discussed at the state level, and will work to communicate to the Office of the President and state lawmakers the impact that additional budget reductions would have on our campus.

This is the time of year when we honor the achievements of graduating students and the faculty and staff who have so ably served them. We do look forward to seeing you at one or more of the many upcoming ceremonies and events celebrating those achievements. These events remind of us of the need to preserve University access and excellence even in this challenging budgetary environment.