Here is a series of statements that Mark Yudof made during his address to the Regents on Sept. 16th (you can watch these comments at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DaX7Jh8-R8 ):
1. “We don’t have any reserves.”
2. “In the last fourteen months, our reserves – so called – are down, I suspect, at the end of the day by one third.”
3. “We actually spent 300 million in the so-called reserves in the current year.”
4. “We better be alert and I will be alert that we are not out of reserves in another year.”
5. “The real challenge is, if we are not careful, and this downturn continues a couple of years, there won’t be any checking account.”
These statements show why faculty, students, and unions do not trust Yudof’s leadership. He first claims that there are no reserves, and then he states that they do exist, but they are going down, and finally he argues that the reserves have to be saved for the future. It is impossible for all of these statements to be true at the same time, and so we must conclude that the UC does have money, but it chooses not to spend it. Instead, fees will go up 42% in a year, employees will have their salaries reduced, and services will be cut.
On September 24th, faculty, students, and workers rallied to demand a more fair and transparent budget. We want to know the truth about the UC’s fiscal status, and we do not want to be told one moment that the reserves don’t exist and then hear the next moment that they need to be saved. What needs to be saved is the reputation of the world’s greatest public university.