- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Vice President Glenda Humiston spoke to the California Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 1 on Education at a hearing to discuss the University of California's budget on Feb. 9.
The session was chaired by state Sen. John Laird, who championed augmentation of the 2021-22 budget for UC ANR.
Humiston gave a status report for UC ANR via Zoom due to COVID protocols.
“Thanks to the ongoing augmentation of the 2021-22 budget for UC ANR, we have acted quickly to rebuild the UC Cooperative Extension footprint,” Humiston told the committee. “While the positions identified in March 2021 are still the focal point of the hiring plan, we also implemented a separate process to ensure identification of the highest priority academic positions across all discipline areas for today and into the future. This involved communicating with community partners and other stakeholders to identify the most pressing needs and prioritize the next round of hiring.”
She noted that, for the first time, UC ANR opened requests for placement of UC Cooperative Extension specialists to all 10 campuses.
“To date, 11 Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists have been hired and are in the field, while 35 more are currently under recruitment and expected to be hired before June 2022,” Humiston said. “UC ANR will be announcing over 40 additional new advisor positions and up to 20 specialist positions later this spring. We've expanded recruiting capacity and enhanced hiring practices to meet the evolving demands of the job market and ensure success. UC ANR is committed to hiring a diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects the top talent necessary to solve societal problems. We will provide the committee with a budget and impact report later this spring.
Laird mentioned in the hearing that legislators aren't often thanked for their work, but after UC ANR received a budget augmentation, he returned from the summer recess to find a huge stack of thank-you cards on his desk.
Laird also noted that UC campuses get COLAs (cost of living adjustments) and he would like ANR's budget to be adjusted annually as well. The adjustment would apply to the overall state general fund budget, not salaries.
Discussion of UC ANR begins at 1:46:30 of the recording at https://www.senate.ca.gov/media/budget-fiscal-review-subcommittee-1-education-20220209/video.