Posts Tagged: budget
On Nov. 17, state Sen. John Laird was invited to the UC Regents' Public Engagement and Development Committee to discuss his support for the university. Laird described his instrumental role in what he called the “resuscitation” of UC Cooperative Extension by championing the state's historic increase to UC ANR's budget.
“We basically got an over 50% increase to try to bring it back to where it was at least a decade ago,” said Laird, who is chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education. He credited the agricultural community in Monterey County for initiating the push to restore UCCE funding.
“I think it's really a feather in the cap for UC because it is something that reaches into every agricultural county of the state and is really appreciated,” Laird, a UC Santa Cruz alumnus, told the regents.
While touring Santa Cruz County, Laird recalled meeting a young farm employee who reduced water consumption 15% in the farm's greenhouses by following the advice of a local UCCE farm advisor. The senator noted that the UCCE advice helped the Watsonville native, a person of color, get off to a successful start in the agricultural field.
Laird said UC needs to publicize more success stories like that. “I think that story really demonstrates the difference that is made … Here is UC Cooperative Ag Extension giving advice to somebody who is starting probably a 35- or 40-year career and saving a bunch of water right off the bat.”
To view the excerpt of his discussion with the regents, visit https://youtu.be/aL524U8z0qM.
After three years of limited hiring due to budget constraints, Vice President Glenda Humiston announced the release of 10 UC Cooperative Extension positions for recruitment.
The new UC Cooperative Extension positions include:
- #11 Plant Pathology Area Advisor, Santa Cruz County
- #13 Soils and Irrigation Advisor, Kern County
- #15 Urban Agriculture/Small Farms Area Advisor, San Bernardino County
- #27 Community Nutrition & Innovative Technologies Specialist, UC Davis
- #31 Forest and Fuels Management Specialist, UC Berkeley
- #37 Subtropical Crops Pathology Specialist, UC Riverside
- #45 Diversified Agricultural Systems Area Advisor, Lake County
- #55 Forestry and Natural Resources Area Advisor, Sutter-Yuba counties
- #59 4-H Youth Development Advisor, San Mateo-San Francisco counties
- #63 Integrated Vineyard Systems Area Advisor, at Hopland Research and Extension Center
The county listed beside the advisor title is where the office for the employee will be located. All of the UC Cooperative Extension Advisor positions will serve multiple counties.
A full description of each position is available at the corresponding position number at the bottom of https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Divisionwide_Planning/2018_Call_for_Positions, with some modifications.
On July 12, the state restored UC ANR's budget to pre-COVID levels of FY 2019-20 and provided a 5% increase plus an additional $32 million in ongoing funding, bringing total state support to $107.9 million for the division.
“This budget increase is transformational,” Humiston said, “It will allow us to rebuild UC Cooperative Extension's boots-on-the-ground to help Californians cope with wildfire, drought, climate adaptation and economic development among other issues.”
Over the past 20 years, UC ANR had seen its budget decrease by almost 50% when adjusted for inflation. As a result, UC ANR was forced to reduce Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists – from 427 positions in 2001 down to only 269 in 2021 – creating vacancies in many critical positions.
Twenty UC Cooperative Extension positions have been designated as critically urgent to fill. To avoid overwhelming UC ANR's Human Resources staff, the other 10 positions of the 20 will be released in late September as they ramp up hiring for future recruitment. Seven to 10 positions will be released each of the next four months, with more positions to be released in 2022.
“We look forward to releasing additional positions for recruitment – both academic and program support members – throughout the next several months,” said Humiston.
“We are extremely grateful to Governor Newsom, the Legislature and especially Senator John Laird, who championed the budget increase, and look forward to working with our community partners to leverage these resources.”
Visit UC ANR Jobs to see the current positions open for recruitment.
As VP Humiston announced in the Feb. 24 ANR Update, Governor Newsom and the state Legislature have agreed to full restoration of UC's budget for the next fiscal year. For UC ANR, that means the 12.7% cut we sustained in FY 2020/21 will be restored, bringing our budget back to pre-COVID levels for FY 2021/22.
This restoration of funding was included in the UC Regent's official FY 21/22 state budget request. We are thrilled to see it moving forward and are working across the UC system to ensure the Regent's budget request is included in the state's final budget package.
Because the state budget hasn't been finalized (and won't be until mid-June), we need help to remind legislators of the benefits of investing in UC ANR.
“There are two upcoming budget subcommittee hearings where state lawmakers will specifically discuss UC's FY2021-22 budget,” VP Humiston said. “This is our chance to set the tone during budget negotiations, and providing public comment is one of the highest impact actions you can take. These hearings are on March 1 and March 9.”
Will you thank the Legislature for their support and ask that they continue to restore critical funding to UC ANR?
Due to the pandemic, the Legislature now allows anyone to dial-in and participate in the hearings – which means even more UC advocates can make their voices heard. If you prefer advocating for UC via social media, Tweets and Facebook and Instagram posts are quick and effective ways to express your support for UC. Emails, letters, and calls to members' personal offices are also highly effective.
Need more information? You can stay informed of important budget hearings and calls to action by signing up to for the UC Advocacy Network. By joining, you'll learn how you can advocate for UC and stay updated on the latest issues impacting higher education. This site also helps you find and contact your representatives.
Tweets or posts
Tell the Legislature why funding for UC is critical. Effective tweets and posts should include:
- Your relationship with UC ANR (legislators might not know that 4-H, Master Gardeners, or even Cooperative Extension are part of UC ANR, so make sure to mention UC ANR along with your programmatic connection!)
- Why you care about UC ANR/ the impact it has on you, your family, your business or your community.
- An ask for “full budget restoration”
4-H has been a bright light for my children and community while sheltering in place. We immediately went to work 1 year ago making masks to protect loved ones and healthcare workers. As a program within UC ANR, we rely on critical state funding. Please fully restore UC ANR's budget! @yourrepresentative
(add a personal photo if you wish).
Please share this message with your community partners and friends who are eager to lend their voice to support UC ANR funding. Your advocacy truly helps!
As you know, the University is experiencing severe fiscal challenges across all locations because of COVID-19 and its economic fallout. UC ANR is facing a possible 12.7% budget reduction for the 20-21 fiscal year. The University is hoping for a supplemental federal appropriation from Congress which may help to reduce the budget cut.
“Congress wanted to pass the fourth COVID supplemental package before August, but they weren't able to come to an agreement,” said Anne Megaro, director of governmental and community relations. “Many of them are still in D.C. working and it could take several more weeks of negotiation before the bill is finalized.”
Until we know more about our fiscal position for the coming year, we are implementing measures to ensure that we are able to continue to deliver the UC ANR mission. As these fiscal challenges become more apparent, many of you have expressed concerns about continued job security and what's next.
UC ANR's strength lies squarely with its people. We have a strong commitment to our employees and seek to implement this by being proactive, transparent and innovative wherever possible. In addition to this ongoing commitment, we will prioritize protecting programmatic goals and current positions. Layoffs will be considered only as a tool of last resort to address the fiscal challenges.
We will approach this situation as we have faced many other challenges - thoughtfully, strategically and with our employees and mission in mind. To do this effectively and equitably across UC ANR, we are implementing a series of strategies.
To achieve the above we initiated a hiring freeze effective July 1 and deferred funding requests for new staff positions and expenditures. Staffing requests will only be approved by exception based on compelling priorities. This hiring freeze will remain in effect for 12 months, unless the budgetary condition improves. Additionally, we are:
- Ensuring a high level of flexibility to reassign current staff to critical positions using the current Redeployment program, wherever possible.
- Approving reasonable use of the voluntary Employee Initiated Reduction in Time (ERIT).
- Proactively considering other UC systemwide strategies for actions to reduce costs such as voluntary reduction in time and voluntary early retirement.
- Working to grow and diversify the Division's revenue streams, prioritizing the development of contracts and grants, gifts, and other independent revenue sources.
- Maintaining programmatic delivery and continuing to invest in key areas, including those identified in the strategic plan, to strengthen delivery of extension and operational efficiency to further our mission.
Our hope is that the hiring freeze and other cost-cutting measures will be short-lived and that Congress will provide the necessary funds to minimize cuts to the University. UC has initiated an advocacy campaign to encourage Congress to support state funding as well as supplemental research and cooperative extension funding.
As expected, California's response to the coronavirus pandemic and loss of tax revenues resulting from the disruption in business have dramatically changed the state's economic outlook.
Governor Gavin Newsom released his revised budget proposal for 2020-21 on Thursday, May 14.
The governor said California began the year with a projected budget surplus of $5.6 billion for 2020-21. The reduced revenue, combined with increased costs in health and human services programs and the added costs to address COVID-19, leads to a projected budget deficit of approximately $54 billion, he explained.
To balance the budget, he called for a number of actions, including withdrawing the 5% budget increase for UC ANR and 5% increase for UC in general funds he proposed in January. He also proposed a 10% reduction in support for the UC system, UC Office of the President, UCPATH and UC ANR. The Legislature is required to approve a budget by June 15.
“Let me remind you that this is a proposal,” said Vice President Glenda Humiston. “This could all change if the federal government provides funding to bridge the gap or the economy recovers more quickly. We will continue to work with our partners to secure adequate funding to achieve our mission.”
On May 18, President Janet Napolitano announced
- a systemwide freeze on salaries for policy-covered staff employees;
- a systemwide freeze on salary scales for policy-covered, non-student academic appointees. To ensure a stable faculty pipeline and to maintain our teaching and research enterprise, we will continue the regular academic peer-review merit advancement program;
- a voluntary pay cut of 10% for current chancellors and herself.
See Napolitano's full statement and FAQs at https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/2020/05/president-napolitano-announces-systemwide-pay-freeze-for-policy-covered-employees.html.
During the May 28 ANR town hall, Humiston answered questions about the budget. A recording of the town hall will be posted at https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/All_Hands.
“As we manage the budget situation, the top priority will be, as always, to take care of our people,” Humiston said. “Without you, the critical mission of ANR could not be delivered.”
In a public response to the governor's proposal, President Napolitano released a statement saying, “The University of California recognizes the unprecedented challenges California is facing in the wake of COVID-19 and regrets that Gov. Newsom was put into a position to steeply reduce the University's budget in response to the State's dramatically diminished revenues. Regardless, UC stands with the governor and the Legislature to help lift the State out of this economic crisis.”