Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Janet Lockwood

Janet Lockwood from UCOP joined the meeting via Skype, with the video being projected onto a large screen at the front of the room. The sound and video were good.

Lockwood focussed on four main issues:
  • UCOP restructuring
  • Budget
  • enrollment growth
  • employee contributions to the retirement plan

Restructuring plan: they hope will be in place by mid-January.
2 new units created to deal with planning & policy at UCOP within academic affairs:
* communications
* issues management (concentrating on long-term planning, incld. strategic planning)

Budget: "very, very bleak."
UCOP has been told to brace itself for continuing dramatic cuts. 145M shortfall for this year; proposed 65+M more in cuts from the Gov.

At their last meeting, Regents approved a budget for 09-10 to "sustain excellence" -- at UCOP they are calling this the "wishful thinking" budget to show the legislature & the Regents to shohw them what we really need.

Enrollment growth: an issue for Pres. Yudof.
Currently UCs are overenrolled by 10K (? not sure if I got this # right - ed.) students, with another 1000 in pipeline. Regents not in favor of tuition increases, but we're beyond what tuition increases could cover anyway. Capping or freezing enrollment is on the table, but there are no definite plans and we do want to serve the state of California.

Retirement plan: UC employees need to contribute to the retirement plan again, for the first time in 11 years.

According to actuarial tables, employees need to contribute 11% of salaries, due both to the failing economy & the fact that for the first time in a long time the retirement fund is under 100% funded. The employee portion of that 11% will likely be 2-3%, leaving the rest for UC to cover (and yet another hole in the budget).

(More things: developments in plans and academic senate policy issues -- folding the academic dean back under academic personnel instead of management -- that I didn't quite catch).


Q: I know that a lot of us contribute to our 401K. Will the retirement plan contirbution be on top of that?
JL: Yes, it will be on top of that and will amount to a reduction in your salary. What the retirement program officer emphasized here is that there haven't been any contributions for 18 years; an enjoyable period that is now at an end, due both to the economy/budget & the fact that the retirement program is now at 80%.

Q: If I understand correctly, this retirement contribution is a hidden pay cut.
JL: well, it's not intended to be a pay cut, but that is the end result.
UCOP is very concerned about that, and part of the budget that was presented to the Regents recognizes that salary increases need to be put in place.

Q: Will those retirement plan contributions be taxable?
JL: I don't know, but I'll find out from the retirement office.

Q: With CSU announcing that they were going to freeze enrollment,and with President Yudof seriously considering it, how likely do you think that the UCs will freeze enrollment statewide?
JL: There are two views -- one is that we can't freeze or cut enrollment as we must continue to serve California; the other is that we don't have the money. Don't know the outcome but the regents & the president are concentrating on the issue.

Thanks to Janet Lockwood for the presentation. Lockwood apologized for introducing herself to us with such bad news!

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