Davis Faculty Association

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Deans Survey Results

The Davis Faculty Association conducted a survey asking faculty to rate their deans. The survey ran from May 17 until June 4 and we had 87 respondents during that time. In summary, a majority of the faculty were satisfied with the handling of merits and promotions by their Dean but were not satisfied with the academic leadership of their dean nor with their dean’s handling of resources and response to the current financial crisis. This survey will be brought to the attention of the Chancellor. Here are the specific questions we asked and the ratio of responses:


My dean handles merit and promotion actions fairly while establishing reasonable expectations of quality:

strongly agree 27%
somewhat agree 27%
neutral 8%
disagree 7%
strongly disagree 15%
do not know / not applicable 16%





My dean provides strong and effective academic leadership:

strongly agree 15%
somewhat agree 17%
neutral 17%
disagree 16%
strongly disagree 32%
do not know / not applicable 2%





My dean distributes resources in a fair and transparent manner:

strongly agree 17%
somewhat agree 16%
neutral 9%
disagree 26%
strongly disagree 23%
do not know / not applicable 8%





My dean is handling the current financial crisis appropriately with transparency and consultation with the faculty:

strongly agree 20%
somewhat agree 16%
neutral 8%
disagree 24%
strongly disagree 31%
do not know / not applicable 1%





My dean is accessible to the faculty:

strongly agree 34%
somewhat agree 26%
neutral 16%
disagree 9%
strongly disagree 14%
do not know / not applicable 1%





My dean is successful at raising external funding:

strongly agree 5%
somewhat agree 14%
neutral 21%
disagree 12%
strongly disagree 12%
do not know / not applicable 36%





The survey also invited respondents to provide any additional comments they wished. These comments are the opinions of the survey respondents. These responses are in no particular order and it should not be assumed that successive comments refer to the same individuals. The majority of respondents chose not to identify their Dean specifically but in many cases the comments can be associated with particular Colleges or Schools. Comments collected included:

1. Being Dean is a tough job, especially in the current economic crisis. It would be a very exceptional individual that could provide strong leadership and bring in external funding in today’s climate.

2. CBS needs and deserves a qualified Dean recruited via a nationwide search.

3. The current dean has given too much authority to a particular staff member (Asst. Dean Fulton), who seems to be treating the budget crisis as an opportunity to consolidate her own power rather than working with the faculty. Faculty input and requests for information have been routinely ignored, and it has taken a Freedom of Information Act request just for her to release basic budget info. It is not clear how one staff member has come to have the authority to maintain a death-grip on the budget numbers despite the concerted voice of the faculty. Worse, Asst. Dean Fulton seems determined to remove staff from the departments and move them to the Dean’s office, regardless of what the faculty think or how many times we object to it.

4. Dean and Associate Deans in my college are generally mediocre faculty with little prior leadership experience (e.g. haven’t been dept chairs). Their behavior is often defensive in nature. In the past we have had a much stronger cadre in our dean’s office. The recent budget crisis began and continues with no meaningful consultation with the rank and file faculty in the college. The staff reorganization committees have consisted of dean’s office faculty and staff, and dept MSOs, and one member of the college executive committee. However, we are told by the dean that these committees are representative of the faculty???? The Assistant Dean is permitted to run roughshod over all members of these committees and the dean of the college. The situation can only be described as surreal.

5. Dean Owens was recently reviewed by the Senate — at the insistence of divisional faculty. The report can be found at http://academicsenate.ucdavis.edu/documents/RA_2-11-10-FINAL-Meeting-Call.pdf. It begins on p. 42. It makes interesting reading.

6. He hasn’t been in the role very long, so I don’t really know the answers to some of these questions. As far as I can tell, his effects on our department and department chair have been good, clear, cooperative, etc. I have a very favorable overall impression of him, but it isn’t based on extensive information acquired since he took the job. (I knew him and highly approved of him well before he took this particular job.)

7. He is probably doing as well as can be expected given the command structure of the university.

8. I am referring here to Dean Osburn of the SVM. I am an emeritus, and find it shocking how the dean has corrupted the academic processes of the UC, and helped put the SVM in economic peril, more so than it would have been alone from the current economic downturn. M Thurmond

9. I believe that my dean has the mentality of an authoritarian corporate CEO and has lost touch with the essence of what a university should be. I am strongly disappointed by this deanship.

10. I do want to add the caveat to my comments that Bruce’s independence in his actions can arguably be held under question. He is expected to be replaced, and it is not clear the extent he feels comfortable to act against the desires of either the senior staff or of returning Dean Lavernia, who will have to live with his decisions. I do know that Bruce has always been very open and fair in all my personal dealings with him.

11. I have never known the present Dean, or his predecessor, to allow the mere best interests of the College and Departments to interfere with opting for politically expedient decisions that further their own career ambitions. The College and individual Departments have suffered terribly over the past 5-6 years, and faculty morale is rock-bottom. We need new College leadership that can pull us out of this morass, re-invigorate the College, and stop the disenfranchisement of faculty. It is high time to end the brazen self-interest and nepotism that have characterized the College leadership for so long.

12. In my opinion, Dean Burtis has been a disappointment.

13. In the Division of Social Sciences, the Dean does not appear to be an advocate for the entire division but rather for his own department and secondarily for those programs/faculty who fit a narrow (money-based) metric of “success.” The question you ask about the Dean’s ability to raise external funds is difficult to answer because he is a successful fundraiser for his own research center but not for the division as a whole.

14. Ken is competent, and dedicated, and he is doing his best to lead the college of Biological Sciences.

15. My Dean has largely outsourced the personnel process to an associate dean in order to concentrate on fund raising and other duties. More generally my Dean is responding to the current challenges with stock solutions, borrowed from other units on campus or around the system, and justifying them using the prevailing buzzwords. He has embarked on a reorganization of the administrative and computer support staff and can not show how such moves will improve service or save money. Now he wants to concentrate support on what he perceives as the strong departments in the college, basing his assessments on bad data and vague impressions of what departments do. He also has turned to the advice of a selected and secret group of faculty (“stars” of the division) who it seems have provided him with justifications for why their units deserve to be regarded as strong.

16. My Dean has vision and he knows where he wants to take the College. He is fair and as far as I know, transparent and straightforward. He is NOT so good at interpersonal communication, and here is where he has had some major gaffes. He also has never been able to understand what makes my department unique. He appears unable to appreciate the value of academic diversity in terms of the benefits of multiple departments. Rather, he has focused on large department size for no defensible reason. This has led to ample frustration and morale issues in the College (faculty and staff alike).

17. My Dean is in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. His first term was good to very good. His second term was OK; he picked battles that he won, but they were of little consequence to the health of the College. In his third term, he seems to be abandoning his first principles (which he defined as merits). Instead of quality, all that seems to matter is size and rather retrograde notions that were important to Agriculture in the past. Following Schneeman, the College got off to a good start with Van Alfen, but he seems intent on messing up his initial good start.

18. My Dean is unqualified for his post. His academic achievements are near the bottom, when compared to all of the faculty in the College of Biological Sciences. He has had only one research grant in his career, and it was remarkable that he was granted tenure. He was given the Dean’s position because he was the ‘low bidder’. He does not have the respect of his faculty.

19. not happy with current direction away from teaching and towards the business model of education

20. Our dean plays favorites, punishes those with whom he disagrees, and instead of supporting a stronger academic program, is eagerly on board with the current push to focus on money-making programs (which in our case, means diluting quality). He is interested only in his own career and salary. Most faculty in our unit are afraid to speak out or oppose him, others are being rewarded for supporting him.

21. Overall, very good dean.

22. She (the Dean) plays favoritism. Unequal treatment of faculty.

23. The budget problem is a biggie. Although the dean attempts to be transparent in his decision process, and sometimes overkills will information overload, the fact that he continues to harbor the idea for a need to cluster units just because his Adm. staff wants it done is clearly indicating that he is a weak dean.

24. The College is operating like a ship with no rudder. A staff person, who is unqualified in many aspects, yields more influence on where the college is going (or not going) than the Dean. Faculty consultation is an after thought.

25. The College of Biological urgently needs new leadership.

26. The Dean is too internally focused, has no idea how successful development programs are run, but seems not to know he has no idea suggesting that at upper levels they have no idea how successful development programs are run.

27. The Deans office in Engineering has suffered from cronyism. The College has not been well served by any of the past 3 occupants. The Dean and staff are guarded from the faculty by gatekeepers – access is limited. Consultation with Faculty is very limited and recent performance on budget and staff cuts has been inadequate. None of our recent Deans has shown any success in raising significant external support and funding, nor in raising the visibility of the College. The Chancellor should clean house by asking all current Deans to re-apply for their jobs – we have too many holdovers from the Vanderhoef days.

28. The lack of leadership and planning in the current crisis is unconscionable.

29. The question which may be most difficult to answer is “What has our Dean done for our College during his/her tenure.” The day-to-day operations seem to absorb most of the time and resources of the Dean’s office….perhaps not too surprising given the current financial situation (read disaster) and the fact that our current Dean’s position is described as “interim.” Still we seem to be gradually spiraling downward and have been for some time.

30. The recent exercise by the Dean’s Office to consolidate departments into so-called cluster groupings on the pretext of achieving fiscal savings in the current state economic crisis is without merit. Such groupings save funds ONLY in the long run after retirement of faculty, which account for the majority of costs in running a/any department. The fiscal crisis is NOW, not in the future. What — in fact — have any of the Deans at UCD implemented to reduce the immediate fiscal crisis impact on the College? I hear talk and sense hand-wringing but have not seen concrete decisions…and next year may be even worse. The only so-called savings of such clustering and consolidation in the current crisis is to realize short-term savings by eliminating staff and 2-3 MSOs. If the Dean was serious in cost-cutting there would be immediate reduction in the number of Associate Deans in his office…that would be a start and send a strong signal that the Dean was serious. Why must university-related cuts come primarily from hard-working staff and not from cutting administrative positions? This is the same problem with UC in general. Clustering departments has little to no intellectual value since faculty do not collaborate with other faculty merely because they are clustered under a so-called “unified” title — faculty collaborate with others of like intellectual interests not because they are clustered under artificial groupings. Further it is inappropriate for any Dean to propose an increased “skim” of an extra % from the gifts of alumni and friends-of-UCD — merely on the guise of the funds are needed to administer them. I know of too many alumni and friends-of-UCD who no longer will give to the campus for various research-related programs because of this inappropriate “tax” by the Dean’s Office. Enough said.

31. To be fair to the deans, this survey should have had a section where we could identify which dean is ours. I feel bad for the other deans, who may actually be doing a good job.

The Daily Californian: Salaries Responsible for Budget Gap

The Daily Californian has an article today by Travis Donselman titled “Salaries Responsible for Budget Gap”

The full article is at: http://www.dailycal.org/printable.php?id=109408

An excerpt follows:

The amount of the University budget gap is half of the $1 billion or so the University doles out to its 3,650 employees who earn $200,000 a year or more. To put this in perspective, that means for each UC campus 365 people earn more than 96 percent of Californians. It also means that the “severe financial challenges,” as the UC Office of the President likes to call its budget problems, are as much a product of Oakland as Sacramento.

Arguments about being competitive are as bankrupt as the UC professes to be. By selectivity, the UC Riverside’s business school ranks below San Diego State’s and just above Cal State San Bernardino’s. Yet the $370,000 salary of the UCR business school dean is more than what the president of either campus makes. It is hundreds of thousands more than what these schools’ business deans make.

University of Illinois furloughs

A member mailed us the following article about immediate furloughs and cuts at the University of Illinois. Full article is at:


An excerpt follows:

…The cuts affect employees on all three Illinois campuses, in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield.

Ikenberry said the university faces a “cash crisis triggered by the state’s financial situation which is grim and worsening.” He said the university has only received 7 percent of this year’s state appropriation since the first of July — creating a shortfall of more than $400 million.

“At some point we will be unable to meet payroll and complete the academic year unless there are significant payments from the state as promised,” he wrote.

To preserve cash in the meantime, he asked university administrators, including chancellors and deans, to take 10 unpaid furlough days before June 15, and directed faculty and other academic professional staff to take four furlough days between February and May 15. Given the uncertain financial picture for 2011, he suggested that university administrators consider notifying employee groups of termination — something required in advance by some contracts.

Rally on the 24th

Students, faculty and the UPTE union are organizing a rally at noon on the Quad on the 24th September. If you intend to teach that day, you might want to inform your class of this activity.

UC faculty attacks regents in scathing letter

On Wednesday, the UCLA Faculty Association distributed a letter critical of the Regents’ handling of the current budget crisis. The letter was signed by Dwight Read, chair of the UCLA FA, Warren Gold, chair of the UCSF FA, and Ian Kennedy, chair of the DFA. You can read the full letter at:

On Thursday, the San Francisco Chronicle ran an article reporting on the letter. The article is available online at:

An Open Letter to Chair Blum and the Regents

Dear Members of the Board of Regents:

The University of California is facing a budget emergency that is already having an immediate and seriously negative impact on the academic quality of the University. In the longer run, it will require that we restructure and redefine the University’s role in the state of California. But our sense as faculty is that you are not fully cognizant of, nor acting in response to, the scale of the emergency that we face.

Your last meeting was on May 7, before the recent general election on the budget-related propositions. It included no serious discussion regarding the implications that the failure of the ballot measures would have for the state budget and how this would drastically affect funding for, and student access to, the University of California. Subsequently those ballot measures overwhelmingly failed. To make matters worse, recent reports from the state controller and other officials show that state revenues are falling short of even the most recent projections.

As Regents, you are both the trustees of the University and the fiduciaries of its retirement and other funds. You can help shape the University infrastructure so that it can become more efficient and less costly. You can interact with the Legislature so that the University can accomplish its agreed upon academic mission and fulfill its larger commitment to provide an educated and innovative workforce for the state of California. Please allow us to suggest what the situation looks like from a faculty perspective at the campus level:

The new fiscal and academic year begins on July 1, literally days away. Starting in August or September, depending on the program involved, new students will be enrolled and current students will be resuming their classes. They are coming or returning with expectations about classes offered and the time needed to fulfill degree requirements. Yet our campus administrators tell us that replacement faculty cannot be hired, fewer courses can be offered, classes will be larger, some programs must be discontinued or substantially curtailed, and that pay cuts and furloughs for faculty and staff will most likely be implemented.

Student fees have already been raised and that trend, we are told, is likely to continue. In the medium term and into the foreseeable future, student enrollments will be cut. Research units will be reduced in scope or eliminated.

At the campus level, various task forces of administrators and faculty are at work, trying to implement short-term adaptations to these pressures. Open meetings have been held to discuss the emergency. Our top administrators candidly admit that the magnitudes of the cutbacks in state funding were not anticipated until quite recently.

As one administrator put it, the meter starts running on July 1; every dollar spent unnecessarily after that date will make subsequent reductions the more severe. They now believe that the cuts experienced will be largely permanent and that the state can no longer sustain UC at past levels. In addition, because of the drop in the stock market, the retirement program now has a substantial unfunded liability which, if left unattended, will cripple the University. Yet no UC employer contributions are being made to the retirement system. Each dollar not contributed means the retirement fund loses $2 in contributions from non-state sources.

We are not asking you to micro-manage the University. But clearly major policy guidance is needed and you as Regents are designated as the ultimate makers of such policy. It is evident that the old Master Plan of 1960, which defined higher education in California and served the state so well for decades, is now an historical relic. The 2004 “compact” with the governor applied only in good economic times and is no longer relevant. Business as usual is no longer an option.

Should we move to a new model for the UC system? If so, then what model? How will you maintain student access to UC and a high level of quality education if the response to the budget crisis is to downsize the University? How do you plan to restore financial health to the UC retirement plan so that it doesn’t become a liability to the financial well-being of the University?

In the face of the unprecedented crisis facing the University, we urge that emergency and open meetings of the Board be convened to explore the implications of the budget crisis for the future of the UC system. As policy makers, you must hammer out with the legislative leaders and the governor a new relationship between UC and the State of California. The Board must explore major short-term responses to the current budget crisis and develop the essential medium- and long-term strategies the University must adopt.

We do not want the proposals made by some legislators to change the constitutional position of the University that has served the state of California so well for a century and a half. Faculty members are strongly opposed to such a change. We need a new Master Plan of 2010, not stopgap responses to the budget cuts. We are not in normal times and we need a fully engaged and active Board of Regents.

This is an emergency. We need your help.


Dwight Read
Chair, UCLA Faculty Association

Warren Gold,
Chair, UCSF Faculty Association

Ian Kennedy
Chair, Davis Faculty Association

Our letter to Senator Yee re: Regental autonomy

Senator Yee has been an ally of the faculty associations in the past. Now, however, he is spearheading the proposed constitutional amendments that would strip the UC Regents of the autonomy needed to preserve UC. Today, DFA chair Ian Kennedy sent the following letter to Senator Yee and copied it to the legislators who represent us at Davis — Lois Wolk and Mariko Yamada. More to follow on this issue as it develops.


June 16, 2009

Senator Leland Yee
State Capitol, Room 4074
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 327-2186

Dear Senator Yee,

The Davis Faculty Association represents members who are on the faculty of the University of California Davis. Over the years, we have appreciated the concern and support that you have shown for the University. On many occasions we have agreed with your criticism of the operation of the Office of the President. However, the Association is alarmed at your proposal for a major change in the governance structure of the university by transferring oversight of the University from the Regents to the Legislature.

While we certainly understand your frustration with the behavior of the University’s administration and their management of upper level administrative positions, we believe very strongly that your approach is guaranteed to weaken the university even further during this period of significant uncertainty.

Under the present governance structure the University has continued to maintain its excellence in the face of declining financial support from the State. A recent widely-used international ranking of universities places six of the campuses of the University in the top 50 universities world-wide. While the current system is not perfect, it has created and sustained the greatest university system, public or private, in the world. This is a remarkable record that we fear may be jeopardized by your proposal. Our members are struggling to maintain the quality of both our teaching and research programs.

We think the current structure can be made to work better than it currently is, but that an abandonment of that structure will add to the chaos of these uncertain times. A better approach to allay your concerns and frustrations might be to reconsider the makeup of the Regents, rather than a drastic overhaul of the entire management of the University. Along these lines, it is worth recalling that a Task Force of the UC Academic Senate proposed to the Regents and President Jack Peltason in 1995 a scheme for equitably setting the salaries of administrators: the proposal was not adopted. We would be happy to share that report with you if you are interested along with other pertinent information. We urge you to reconsider your proposal – it is in neither the interest of the University nor ultimately the State of California. Other remedies are available.

Ian Kennedy, Davis Faculty Association Chair, and
Professor of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering

cc: Assemblymember Mariko Yamada
Senator Lois Wolk

UCB take the budget cut hit

The Berkeley Chancellor lays out the budget problem for faculty and staff:

Begin forwarded message:

From: Christine Rosen
Date: June 16, 2009 2:31:23 PM PDT
Subject: UCB take the budget cut hit

Hi all,

Here is our Chancellor’s message on how the cuts will affect us.  Birgeneau is drawing attention to the triple whammy we are going to be taking – furlough/salary cuts, start up of pension contributions, and increasing contributions for health insurance.  No layoffs though yet – or tying these adjustments into promotion decisions.


—–Original Message—–

From: Robert J. Birgeneau, Chancellor
Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 6:14 PM
To: Staff, All Academic Titles, Other Members of the Campus Community, Students, Academic Senate Faculty
Subject: URGENT Budget Message from Chancellor and Provost

Dear Campus Colleagues:

As you are undoubtedly aware, California’s financial crisis has worsened severely in recent weeks; this means that the likelihood of unprecedented cuts in State funding of the University has risen dramatically.  UC Berkeley is facing the most difficult financial situation that we have ever encountered in our university careers.

We know that you have been hearing rumors about a number of potential actions designed to reduce costs not only at Berkeley but across the system.  We want to lay out the financial context for you, tell you what we think may happen, and let you know our leadership strategy for the Berkeley campus as we manage through these difficult times.

Today, we find ourselves facing stark new realities.

Six weeks ago, UC Berkeley faced a $67.2 million budget gap for 2009-10. That anticipated shortfall has now grown to $145 million.  Here is how we have been working to address the anticipated shortfall.

* The recently-enacted 9.3% student fee increases and other revenue-enhancement measures that become effective July 1, have reduced the $145 million gap by $30 million.

* In addition, through the work of many of you, our cost-saving measures introduced in 2008-2009 have further reduced the gap by another $15 million.

* That leaves us, at present, with a $100 million remaining gap for the academic year 2009-2010.  We are hopeful that this gap will not grow further as the State finalizes its budget, but we must assume that this is our working target as we plan for the coming year.

* The possible loss of the Cal Grants program, as proposed by the Governor, is not included in the above totals.  These grants total $47 million annually to the UC Berkeley campus.  They cover fees for a large number of our undergraduates.  The loss of Cal Grants would not only disadvantage those students; it would fundamentally subvert our social imperative to provide broad social access to the excellence at UC Berkeley.  The Joint Legislative Budget Conference Committee has proposed protecting student awards for 2009-2010 grants, but that is not 100 percent certain.

* Federal stimulus funds are beginning to trickle in, but are not designed to cover existing core operations.

UC Berkeley, of course, is not alone in facing these challenges.  Private universities have suffered major declines in their endowments while public universities nationwide have experienced severe cuts in State support.

This basically means that we are now facing a reduction of our baseline budget that will likely continue, and may even deepen, over multiple years.  These unprecedented developments require us to examine the underlying assumptions that guide us in delivering and supporting the University’s mission of teaching and learning, research and scholarship, and public service.
For UC Berkeley, this much is certain: all of us—students, faculty, staff, and senior administrators—will be required to sacrifice as we navigate our way through this crisis.  At the same time, it is essential that we work together to address the formidable challenges ahead of us.

Our budget planning scenarios, which had earlier anticipated an average of 8% permanent budget cuts to all campus units for the coming fiscal year, will now likely be at a campus-wide average of 20%.  While some units will need to spread the cuts over two years, the campus average cut must be at least 12% in 2009-2010.  The remainder must be taken by 2010-2011.
These cuts will not be uniform “across-the-board”; units that are core to the teaching and research missions will be given somewhat lesser cuts than the others, and, within the teaching-and-research realms, units with higher capacity will be asked to take larger cuts than those with lower capacity.  This is the only rational approach in a campus like ours if we are to preserve our depth and breadth of academic excellence—our principal competitive advantage.

Clearly cuts of this magnitude will require all areas of our campus to sacrifice considerably, and to make changes in their core operations.  We will need to reduce our workforce significantly and this will be painful and difficult.  To accomplish this, we will also need to make changes to our core operations and the way we do our work.  All of these efforts will take time to achieve.

Over the summer, managers will work with their units to make difficult but necessary decisions about reductions in our workforce, while determining which services we can eliminate or curtail.  Naturally, all policies and procedures will be followed, and we will work to treat our people with the respect and dignity they deserve under these very difficult circumstances.  We are sensitive to the impact of staffing reductions on the workload of remaining staff and are seeking ways to streamline our business processes.

As each unit or department works to meet our new budget number, many specifics remain unclear, requiring approval by the Office of the President and the Regents for system-wide implementation. We would like to inform you of those things that are likely or certain to occur in 2009-2010.

What We Know for Sure

* It is, unfortunately, certain that, during 2009-2010, efforts to implement permanent budget cuts at all UC campuses will result in the elimination of many staff positions.

* It is certain that, during 2009-2010, there will be a near-total freeze in new faculty hiring at UC Berkeley.

* It is certain that, during 2009-2010, a staff hiring freeze at UC Berkeley will remain in effect.

* It is also certain that there will be no faculty or staff early-retirement programs at UC campuses on the order of the VERIP of the 1990s.

What is Likely to Happen

* It is highly likely that, through temporary furloughs and/or pay cuts, faculty, staff, and senior administrators at all UC campuses will see their wages reduced by about 8 percent (with potentially a lower rate for our lowest paid workers); it remains uncertain whether pension calculations will be affected by this reduction.

* It is highly likely that, at some point during the 2009-2010 academic year, faculty, staff, and senior administrators at all UC campuses will begin contributing to the UC pension fund.

* It is quite possible that the health-care premiums paid by faculty, staff, and senior administrators at all UC campuses will increase significantly.

Our first and foremost goal is to preserve the academic excellence of Berkeley.  To that end, let us be clear as to what we will not entertain during this crisis.

* We are not discussing or considering layoffs of Senate faculty members, tenured or untenured.

* We are not discussing or considering making Senate faculty promotion decisions contingent on available funding.

* We will not sacrifice Berkeley’s commitment to breadth and depth of academic excellence.

* We will not allow the budgetary crisis to subvert either the delivery of our teaching mission or the support infrastructure for research.

* We will not sacrifice our commitment to social access: low-income students who have earned a place atBerkeley must be capable of affording a UC Berkeley education.

* We will not flag in our commitment to recruit to Berkeley the best graduate students in all fields.

* We will not abandon our efforts to train and promote a highly skilled and diverse workforce.

These are the guiding principles that will be in the forefront of our activities as we entertain difficult choices.

As we progress through this budgetary crisis, we are also looking forward to the longer term prospects and we are taking measures to reduce the size and cost of our enterprise by streamlining work.  For example, we have begun implementing a multi-year plan to streamline administrative processes in IT, Human Resources, procurement, business services, student advising, research administration, and other areas.  Many of these improvements will involve centralized and automated systems that will reduce our dependence on a patchwork of decentralized, labor-intensive operations.

Over time, a combination of layoffs, retirements and normal attrition will result in a smaller workforce that will bring our staff and faculty payroll closer to alignment with State funding, while maintaining high-quality services.  Toward these ends, we have already made substantial investments in systems such as the Human Capital Management (HCM) systems, the Berkeley Financial System (BFS), and an upgrade to ePro, our procurement system.

We are also working with the Office of the President on ways to cut costs by adopting system-wide (UC) administrative systems and reducing prices through system-wide procurement of some goods and services.  Locally, we are consolidating the administration of contracts and grants and are merging back-office functions of both academic and non-academic units.

We are actively engaged and working closely with the Academic Senate and a faculty subgroup that has been formed specifically to examine budget reduction measures.  We anticipate evaluating all options around hiring, retention practices, and strategies to defend the breadth and depth of academic excellence for which UC Berkeley is renowned.

We are implementing an entire suite of revenue-enhancement measures: full recovery of the central administrative costs associated with our self-sufficient auxiliary enterprises; negotiation of a higher federal overhead rate for campus research; expansion of the reach and earnings potential of University Extension and Summer Sessions; and, of course, intensified private fund-raising.  We are also restructuring campus debt to reduce those costs over the near term.

In the external realm, University leaders are advocating aggressively, making sure that legislators, the public, and UC’s closest constituents understand the value of our mission, employees, and students.

We pledge to redouble our efforts to strengthen UC Berkeley’s long and rich tradition of combining access and excellence.  Throughout the State, country, and even the world, Berkeley remains the standard by which all other universities are judged when it comes to the combination of comprehensive academic excellence and deep commitment to a public mission.  We will not shy away from our commitment to either of these lofty goals.

Through shared sacrifice by students, staff, faculty, and senior administrators, and through renewed efforts to reduce over time the cost of delivering instruction, research, and administrative services on campus, we will emerge from this crisis more focused and more efficient, but equally excellent and accessible.  UC Berkeley has been an outstanding institution for 141 years and it will still be outstanding 141 years from now.  We look forward to working with you toward these ends.

What happens next?

We are acutely aware that the economic situation makes this a difficult time, professionally and personally, for many of you.  Change of this magnitude will be difficult.  We have asked our Human Resources area to assist in a number of ways, specifically by supporting managers and employees as we work through this difficult time.  We understand that clear information on campus actions and resources to help you is essential. We ask that managers and supervisors please take time to go though this message with your employees.  We renew our commitment to bring you that information as we learn it, via e-mails and on our Budget Central website: newscenter.berkeley.edu/budget.   We hope that you will watch the site for budget news as it develops, and we thank you for your continued commitment and dedication to this unique institution.

Yours sincerely,

Robert J. Birgeneau

George W. Breslauer
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Note: We ask supervisors to please print and deliver this message to staff who do not use computers in their work.

Tenure, compensation, and Yudof at UT

A DFA member noted reference to our own Mark Yudof in a article from the Texas FA in regard to tenure and compensation at the UT system. Yudof is mentioned in passing.


Survey of UCD Administration

During the Spring Quarter the Davis Faculty Association conducted a survey of faculty with regard to the performance of the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. The results are online at:


We have posted statistics as well as detailed comments and personal experiences. The comments make for very interesting reading and we urge the members, and the upper administration who will receive this message, to consider them carefully.

In summary, one quarter of respondents to the question believe the Office of Research is effective and efficient in supporting research activities while three quarters believe it is not.

Almost one third of respondents to the question believe Graduate Studies is effective and efficient in supporting graduate education and research at UC Davis while over two thirds believe it is not.

Essentially, people believe that the administration in general, and both of the two administrative units that were the focus of the survey in particular, are overly bureaucratic. There seemed to be a sense that these offices were designed to manage faculty rather than facilitate faculty. As one faculty member put it (in respect to the Office of Research), they seem “more concerned with scrupulously enforcing … rules than with facilitating submission of proposals.” Some people in fact welcomed OR’s strictness since the funding agencies at the next step are equally picayune.

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