Annual Report to Campus Highlights Achievements, Budget Challenges
CHANCELLOR HENRY T. YANG, Executive Vice Chancellor Gene Lucas, and other top administrators gathered at Corwin Pavilion on May 24 to present their annual Report to the Campus. The event, which takes place every spring, gives the administration an opportunity to highlight the university’s successes and achievements during the current academic year, and to discuss challenges facing the campus.
In an overview that featured the many accomplishments of UCSB faculty, staff, and students, Yang took a few minutes to express his deep appreciation to faculty and staff members for their hard work and dedication amid the current economic hardships.
Among the highlights that marked the 2009-10 year were the All-Gaucho Reunion; Spring Insight, at which every academic department on campus was represented; and the selection of UCSB to host the 2010 NCAA Division I Soccer Championship. He also discussed the increasing excellence of UCSB students, noting that the number of freshman applicants for fall 2010 is the second-highest ever, and that the grade point averages and SATR scores of incoming freshmen are higher than last year’s.
Diversity continues to be a campus priority, Yang continued, as evidenced by the fact that 30 percent of incoming freshmen represent underrepresented minority groups, up from 29 percent last year.
Among other highlights Yang discussed in his overview was the Campaign for UC Santa Barbara. A total of $577 million has been raised to date, he said, which includes 57 new endowed professorships and 139 new graduate fellowships. Despite the current economic climate, $34 million was raised this year, an increase of $5 million over 2009-10.
Moving on to the budget situation, Yang was cautiously optimistic about the funding for UC that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has included in his proposed budget for 2010-11. The May Revision, which Yang described as “very positive for UC,” includes the restoration of $305 million that was cut from the University’s budget on a one-time basis in 2009-10, and $51 million to cover a portion of unfunded student enrollment. The Governor also proposed full funding for the Cal Grant program.
Separate from the operating budget, the governor also proposed $355 million in capital construction bond funds for facilities projects on UC campuses. At UCSB, these projects include a $68 million upgrade to Davidson Library that will increase its size by 45,000 square feet.
Executive Vice Chancellor Gene Lucas discussed, among other topics, the campus’s Long Range Development Plan, which will be submitted to the UC Regents in the next few months. Once endorsed by the Regents, the LRDP will be presented to the California Coastal Commission for final approval. The LRDP serves as the university’s blueprint for the future, taking it to 2025.
Lucas also gave an update on the status of the UC Commission on the Future. He noted that the five working groups have presented their initial recommendations to the full commission, and that a comment and consultation period is currently underway. Final recommendations will be presented to the Regents in the fall.
The full text of the working groups’ recommendations, as well as a means for offering comments, are available at <http://ucfuture.universityofcalifornia.edu>
. The councils and committees of the UCSB Academic Senate have developed draft responses to the recommendations. Their preliminary comments can be found at <http://senate.ucsb.edu>
At the May 24 meeting, vice chancellors Michael Witherell, research, and Michael Young, student affairs, reported on achievements in their divisions. Other speakers included Marc Fisher and Ron Cortez, associate vice chancellors for administrative services; Gary Greinke, associate vice chancellor for development; Todd Lee, budget director in the Office of Budget and Planning; and Joel Michaelsen, chair of the Academic Senate.