Campus & community, Campus news, Work life

More details on UC Berkeley's voluntary workforce actions

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos, Vice Chancellor for Administration Marc Fisher and Rosemarie Rae, vice chancellor for finance and chief financial officer, sent the following message to the campus community on Thursday afternoon.

Thanks to those of you who tuned into last week’s Campus Conversation in which we, along with Chancellor Christ, gave an update on the campus budget; the event was recorded and can be accessed on the Campus Conversations website. We appreciate your questions and engagement. We find ourselves in an enormously challenging time and ask for your partnership as we look to the future.

Every part of our community will need to help bridge the COVID-19 budget shortfall we face. Individual divisions and departments have leeway within a range of available approaches to devise a plan that meets local needs in the best way possible. Campus leadership (including division and department heads, chief administrative officers, and division financial leaders) will receive budget instructions next week; budget materials are due to the Office of Financial Planning and Analysis on Friday, September 4 .

Our goal is to preserve jobs and achieve our budget targets through expense reductions and voluntary personnel actions to the greatest extent possible. The following voluntary options can help your department reach its budget targets and assist the campus overall. For example, for some individuals, a reduction in time might be feasible and attractive.

  • A retirement incentive program for faculty (enhanced provisions in Pathways to Retirement agreements), for a limited window of time. (The incentives include an extension of the time faculty can keep their offices and labs, increasing the payment for recall teaching, and recalling faculty for research.)
  • Voluntary Separation Program for Staff (with incentives based on years of service)
    Temporary or permanent reductions in time (benefits remain intact if you are at 50% time or greater, however service credit does not)
  • Voluntary salary reductions (Contact division HR Partner who handles payroll-related matters)
  • Philanthropic contributions to a department or division to assist in meeting budget targets.

If we are unable to reach our budget targets with expense reductions and/or the above voluntary measures, some departments may need to take the following actions:

The UC Office of the President is still considering systemwide policies to address the budget shortfalls; however no decisions have been made, so we must work to finalize our fiscal year 2021 budgets now independently as a campus. If systemwide directives come later, we will work with division leaders to adjust budgets accordingly.

As campus leaders evaluate these weighty budget decisions, we urge you to consider issues of equity and fairness and to adjust your approach to minimize disproportionate impacts on those with the fewest resources. And as we face a future with fewer resources as a campus, we recognize that we cannot do more with less, and that it will not be possible to do things in the same way as before; we are grateful in the knowledge that you will do your very best to find a way. We encourage campus leaders to communicate this expectation to their divisions and departments and to work with employees to determine its practical applications.

Once again, let us express our heartfelt gratitude to you and the entire Berkeley community for everything you do to help us live up to our commitment to teach the next generation of leaders, make discoveries that improve lives, and serve California and the world in countless ways, even in the hardest of times.