University of California President Mark Yudof on Tuesday issued a video message to the University community asking everyone to make their voices heard in support of education funding.
Yudof is calling attention to Governor Jerry Brown's proposed new budget containing cuts of $500 million for the University of California. When these cuts are combined with other unfunded obligations, UC's true budget gap is $1 billion, according to Yudof.
"With everyone's help — with your help — we can deliver a strong message to Sacramento and to people throughout the state about the importance of UC to California's future," Yudof said.
Here is the full text of his video message:
Thank you for joining me.
I am here to talk to you about our state budget situation, what it suggests for the future of UC, and most definitely, how you can help.
As you know, we are confronting some very serious financial challenges, and some very difficult choices.
Governor Brown has proposed a new budget of cuts of $500 million for the University of California.
When these cuts are combined with other unfunded obligations, our true budget gap is $1 billion.
That's an enormous fiscal hole.
We understand the state has a grave financial problem, and that we have a role to play in the solution.
We are doing our part to be good partners, working aggressively to implement efficiencies and identify how the cuts will impact programs and services.
But make no mistake about it, no matter how efficient we are, a funding gap that is this large is going to significantly impact and change the University of California.
We may be forced to lay off employees, turn away new students, reduce academic programs, suspend building projects, and take other measures.
We cannot save or streamline our way around a problem of this magnitude. We also cannot continue to operate without adequate state support.
We need long-term funding stability, and we need to be pressing that case and we need to press it now.
California is a special place — a land of opportunity, innovation and solutions, where what's possible actually happens.
But California didn't get this way by accident.
It was built from the ground up, over many decades, with a lot of help from the University of California.
So we need to build broad awareness that higher education is critical to California's future, and there needs to be a long-term plan to stabilize UC's funding.
With everyone's help — with your help — we can deliver a strong message to Sacramento and to people throughout the state about the importance of UC to California's future.
Our state leaders need to hear from you: that you believe in education, that you believe in innovation, and job creation because they are all critical to the future of our state and are the best investment our state can be making at this critical time.
We are a big community with the power to influence our future. Every voice matters and I mean every voice matters — your voice matters.
Please go to ucforcalifornia.org, sign up and send an email to your legislator today.
And if you are an advocate‚ thank you, and please be sure your elected representatives are hearing from you. I will be back in touch with you over the coming months to update you on our budget situation and to report back on our efforts.
Until then, thank you in advance for your partnership, and for standing up for UC and for California.