The latest word from Sacramento today is that we appear to be on the brink of having a state budget that will contain good news for the University of California. The Legislature has approved a budget bill that is now being considered by Gov. Schwarzenegger.

Legislators have agreed to restore nearly $200 million in permanent state funding for the university, to direct $106 million in one-time federal stimulus funds to the UC system, and to pay a portion of the cost of UC's many "unfunded students," including hundreds of students we enrolled at UC Santa Cruz despite the state's decision to provide only partial funding. Although we have a long way to go to make up for the cuts of the past three years, it is encouraging to see lawmakers willing to reinvest in the university.

It is a particular pleasure to share news of these developments one day after a national day of action in support of public education. At UCSC yesterday, advocates for higher education gathered for a noon rally in Quarry Plaza; Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Alison Galloway was among those who attended.

I am confident that UC fared better in this year's budget negotiations thanks in large part to the work of thousands of committed UC students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends who spoke out on behalf of the university. As I told a group of UCSC student reporters yesterday, it is a pleasure to see positive results come from that concerted effort.

As we await the governor's final decision, it would be premature to speculate about how additional funds might be distributed to campuses. CP/EVC Galloway and I will keep you informed as we learn more.