Chancellor Carol Christ, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos, and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Chief Financial Officer Rosemarie Rae sent the following message to faculty and staff on Monday:
We are writing today to share news about budget-related implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we have shared previously, the loss in current and projected revenues to the campus is significant; combined with actual and projected increased expenses, the total impact will likely be in the range of $210-300 million.
While there has been progress in finding new ways to generate revenue for the campus and our philanthropic gains have been significant, it is clear we will need to take actions within our control to cut expenses in order to reduce the pandemic-related impact to the campus budget. The largest portion of our budget, approximately 68 percent, is personnel costs. Of those costs, the merit increases for non-represented staff and annual cost-of-living increases for represented staff and faculty (range adjustments) account for $50 million annually on our campus alone.
UC President Janet Napolitano will propose to the Board of Regents this week that there be a systemwide freeze on the salaries of non-represented staff and faculty for fiscal year 2021. This does not apply to retention, promotion, and other faculty advancement cases with July 1, 2020 effective dates. This also does not apply to equity increases for staff, but they will be granted on a limited basis and must be approved by the Finance Committee. The process for requesting approval will be released in the coming days. In addition, President Napolitano will propose that she and the 10 campus chancellors each take a 10 percent pay cut. Finally, UCOP is initiating discussions with union leaders to convey the gravity of the system’s financial circumstances. Here is a link to the UCOP announcement and Frequently Asked Questions page.
We realize that this news comes at a time when many of you have health and financial concerns for yourself and your loved ones, are struggling with being separated from friends and family, and are experiencing the fragility and uncertainty that has become all too real during this pandemic. We regret that this announcement will present an additional unwelcome burden.
Please be assured that we will continue to look at all other means of budget relief that do not adversely impact our employees. We are deeply grateful for the many and varied contributions of our UC Berkeley faculty and staff, especially during these very challenging times, and we will continue to support you in any way that we are able.