Since Gov. Brown is saying that he wants to meet with union and student leaders to discuss how to reduce the UC budget, I have put together a comprehensive proposal to save vital services, while absorbing the latest round of budget cuts:
1. Reduce senior management group by 20%. Just as academic programs are often reduced by a certain percentage, the Office of the President should get the same type of reduction. This process will force the administration to decide who is valuable in their own ranks, and it could save $20 million. If the same process is extended to the campuses, it could save $200 million.
2. Institute a UC tax on all auxiliaries of 10% to go to the general fund; this will bring in $1 billion each year. (Some of this money could be used to fund the pension plan)
3. Reduce the number of grants that do not bring in at least 50% in indirect cost recoveries. The total savings here should be $200 million. The university also plans to bring in another $300 million by renegotiating the federal and state indirect cost rate to match its competitors.
4. Cap administrative salaries, raises, and supplemental retirement perks. This will reduce future costs and help motivate some overpaid administrators to leave. (cost: priceless).
5. Prevent athletic subsidies and force campuses to reduce new construction projects related to athletics. This could save $100 million a year.
While we still need to push for more state funding, these proposals are based on the recognition that the profit centers of the university need to share their extra funds, and we also need a forced reduction of administrative costs.