Yesterday my office provided campus principal officers with budget allocations for the 2010-11 fiscal year that begins this July 1. This budget anticipates a net decline in state support of slightly over $8 million, or 4.5 percent.

While we are hopeful that the governor and legislature may restore some or all of last year's one-time cut of $305 million to UC, the state faces an estimated deficit of $20 billion. That obliges us to plan for the possibility of further reductions in state support next year. Anticipated increases in mandatory costs and revenue from fee increases are also reflected in this budget plan.

These allocations follow many months of careful analysis, inclusive discussions and broad consultation. As you will see by reviewing my letter to principal officers, budget allocations reflect several fundamental principles:

* A commitment to protecting, to the extent possible, academic and research programs already recognized for their excellence and impact, as well as those with the potential to achieve these distinctions.

* Larger proportional reductions in funding for institutional support, except where reductions would threaten our ability to meet basic safety, infrastructure and legal mandates.

* The critical need to protect resources necessary to generate additional private and extramural funds, especially in a period of declining public support.

These budget cuts will be difficult for a campus striving to maintain progress in the wake of more than $50 million in permanent and one-time budget cuts since 2008. We all know that student fees have risen while academic offerings and support services have been reduced. We also know that another round of cuts this year means the likely loss of additional jobs.

My letter to principal officers also included tables outlining budget reductions for 2010-11 and a cumulative three-year total. Principal officers are now developing plans to implement assigned budget reductions for their areas. You will receive more specific budget information from your principal officers as divisional plans evolve.

In closing, I want to remind us that even in these recent lean budget years, UC Santa Cruz has continued to make great strides as a preeminent public research university. We are equipping students for lives of purpose while helping solve some of the world's most vexing challenges through highly innovative research. As community members, we are major contributors to our region's economy and its intellectual and cultural vibrancy.

Thank you for contributing to what makes UC Santa Cruz so exceptional.