In the wake of UC Santa Cruz housing issues, shortened class times and layoffs in the athletic department, many students have expressed confusion over the current funding and budget allocations. To increase transparency over the budget and where the funding deficits lie, Executive Vice Chancellor and Campus Provost Alison Galloway hosted a budget forum on Nov. 10 where she detailed the current funding crisis and the plans for a solution.
Twenty-three percent core funds comes from state funding. This has dramatically dropped from the ’80s and the ’90s where state funding accounted for over 50 percent of the UCSC budget. Auxiliary expenses such as housing and parking and extramural support make up the rest of the core funds. These funds go directly to UCSC instruction, research, maintenance, student affairs and other immediate costs.
This, amongst other cost increases, created a structural shortfall of about $7 million per year. To make up for this funding deficit the university is hoping to raise state funds by admitting more PhD students, who receive 250 percent more funding from the state than undergraduate or master students. They also hope to increase out-of-state enrollment, on-campus housing and patent research so that more funds will be generated directly by the student body.
However, the immediate solution mandated by the UC Office of the President is to accept more students. UCSC accepted almost 5,000 more students last year than the year before and enrolled an additional 650 this year alone.
“We typically believe it takes about a $10,000 contribution from the state per student, and we are not getting that,” Galloway said.
The influx of students brought in more money for the school but also increased maintenance fees and added to the already prevalent housing crisis.
With more students coming in and less state money available per student, there is a larger need for a dramatic change in the UC budgetary system.
“We need a new master plan,” said Galloway. “We have, as a state, more people that are going to need higher education. If we doubled the UC enrollment, we could do that. But it will take X amounts of dollars to do that, but I do not see that grander vision coming forward.”