State budget calls for 10% research cut
With a 10% permanent reduction in state financial support for University research, the state's fiscal 2002-03 budget calls for a $32 million cut in UC's organized research funding ( see p. 178 ). The across-the-board cut was among several targeted reductions specified for the University. Overall, the state is providing $3.2 billion for UC's operating budget in 2002-03, about 3% less than last year.
The cut in organized research affects programs throughout the University, including those conducted by the Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) at the Berkeley, Davis and Riverside campuses. Also included are AES funds managed through the Office of the Vice President in the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR).
The Division's senior administrators expect the impact of this budget reduction to be substantial and long-lasting. “State agencies have been asked to plan for a 20% reduction in funding for 2003-04,” says W.R. Gomes, ANR vice president. “The University budget and that of ANR will no doubt sustain further reductions, beyond those taken in 2003-04. The extent of these reductions is unpredictable at this time.”
This cut is “relatively harsher” for the Division than it might seem at first blush, notes ANR associate vice president Henry Vaux Jr., because “we have never recovered financially from the severe budget cuts of the early 1990s.” Like Gomes, Vaux doesn't expect the fiscal situation to improve soon. “The bottom line is we anticipate that there are going to be even larger cuts next year — and the reserves that helped buffer the impact of this year's cuts are gone,” he says.