Our Charge

Major efforts to reduce a structural deficit in UC Berkeley's budget, in order to ensure the university remains both excellent and widely accessible, began earlier this year. These efforts followed a planning and analysis process that had been led by Berkeley's administration, in partnership with Academic Senate leaders, since the summer of 2015.

Berkeley's budget deficit in FY2015-16 is projected to reach about $150 million, or approximately six percent of the campus' operating budget. Our goal, which we are on track to meet, is to achieve a balanced budget by 2019-20.

The budgeting cycle marks the first step in a progressive effort to reduce campus expenses. All campus divisions are planning and implementing cost savings while also developing revenue-generating programs which will put us on a pathway to achieve substantial savings in the coming year. We will continue this work over the next five years to sustain these savings.

Moving Forward to Address our Deficit

Chancellor Dirks has asked several members of his senior leadership team and key vice provosts to work directly with interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (EVCP) Carol Christ and himself on initiatives related to reducing Berkeley's deficit. These leaders will be tasked with engaging groups of faculty, deans, staff, and students in developing and implementing the wide array of initiatives, namely:

  • Administrative realignment, the effort to assess our workforce’s current and future needs, and to develop a plan to improve administrative efficiency and service. Financial and operational reviews led by the Campus Budget Office into the Real Estate and Student Affairs portfolios will provide actionable advice about how to optimize these portfolios. This initiative will be led by Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy.

  • Strengthening campus fundraising, an effort to improve the donor experience by better coordinating and integrating our fundraising outreach, as well as working together in new ways as a campus fundraising community. This will continue under the leadership of Julie Hooper, Vice Chancellor, University Development and Alumni Relations.

  • Efforts to drive sustainability in the Intercollegiate Athletics budget will be led by Chancellor Dirks in close collaboration with Director of Intercollegiate Athletics H. Michael Williams. A task force including members of the Academic Senate, student-athletes, and alumni/donors will provide advice as to the proper scope and funding level for the Intercollegiate Athletics program.

Chancellor Dirks and interim EVCP Christ are currently in the process of meeting with groups of faculty and staff regarding plans for deficit reduction. Staff who have volunteered to participate in the staff engagement group may be contacted in the future as new engagement opportunities arise. We thank you for your efforts and willingness to pitch in. Campus leaders will continue to work closely with the ASUC and Graduate Assembly, who have ably represented student concerns in our discussions with them in recent months.

Future updates on the campus’ strategic initiatives will be shared on this page and via other communications channels.


To pose a question, offer a suggestion, or provide feedback on Berkeley's deficit reduction processes and strategy, please contact initiatives@berkeley.edu.