This Week in News

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    Illustration by Rachel Edelstein.

    UCSC Faces $31 Million Cut

    The university will need to cut $19 million from the current 2011–2012 budget, executive vice chancellor Alison Galloway announced in an e-mail to the campus community on Feb. 7.

    The University of California will face a $500 million budget cut under Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget. Galloway estimates UC Santa Cruz’s share will be about 6 percent, or
    $31 million.

    UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC Davis will all contend with larger cuts. UCLA faces the largest shortfall, at $99 million, with UC Berkeley and UC Davis close behind at roughly $80 and $70 million, respectively.

    Last year, the university made permanent cuts rather than relying on temporary funds, which decreased the actual shortfall UCSC will face to $19 million.

    “The [$31 million] cut is roughly equivalent to cutting the entire division of physical sciences,” Galloway said.

    Though no specific program cuts have been made, preliminary cuts have been assigned by division. The academic divisions face 6 percent cuts, and all other units have been asked to make 16 percent reductions.

    These numbers may change, pending the outcome of Brown’s proposal to extend current personal income and sales taxes for five years. If the measure does not make it on the ballot or is not passed by voters, Galloway said, the UC will face larger cuts.

    The proposed cuts are also dependent on tuition stability, said Peggy Delaney, UCSC’s vice chancellor for planning and budget.

    “These numbers are based on an assumption that there won’t be a student fee increase,” she said.

    Though there hasn’t been any formal discussion among the UC regents about further increasing tuition, which will increase 8 percent in the 2011–2012 school year. Higher student fees would lower the amount campuses would need to cut.

    Students who want to take action can encourage their representatives to put Brown’s proposal on the ballot, Galloway said.

    “The bottom line is, if the ballot measure doesn’t happen, we’re looking at the scale of about a $62 million [cut],” she said.

    Galloway and Chancellor George Blumenthal will hold two town hall meetings in March to discuss the cuts with the campus community.

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    UC EAP Students Evacuate Egypt

    Amid protests in Egypt, UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) students at the American University of Cairo were evacuated on Feb. 1.

    The group of 19 students, a team of archaeologists, faculty members and a parent of a student were moved to Barcelona, according to the University of California Newsroom website.

    The decision was made to transport the group when protests regarding Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s resignation from office became violent, potentially jeopardizing their safety.

    As of Feb. 9, the students are transferring to different study abroad programs, including ones in Israel and Europe, or are resuming classes at their respective colleges.

    Many of the students were from UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. UC Santa Cruz did not have any students in the Egypt program.

    Students were evacuated according to established protocol for such instances. Similar measures have been used to ensure the safety of members of the UC community, such as following recent earthquakes in Chile and Haiti.

    Alicia Ochsner, a junior at Tulane University, was supposed to be studying abroad in Egypt this semester.

    Ochsner, not an EAP student, arrived on Jan. 1 but left a month later due to the travel advisory. Classes had been pushed back, but she never attended any.

    She said the Egyptian students were excited and inspired by the political climate in Tunisia.

    “They were like, ‘That’s great that they can do this. Let’s do it now,’” she said.