Millions Saved and Improvements Identified; Focus on New Revenue Generation
July 1, 2013
Since 2010, the UCLA Restructuring Steering Committee has overseen a portfolio of more than 50 campus projects focused on making academic and administrative operations more efficient and less expensive. These efforts have been quite productive and at this time most of the projects have drawn to a close or transitioned to ongoing implementation.Millions of dollars have been saved through administrative restructuring efforts, including $9.6 million in savings and rebates on strategic sourcing agreements, reductions of $6 million in transaction costs for student payments, and annual savings of $4 million from energy conservation. In addition, increased efficiencies have been created through four new regional business centers and the consolidation of data center and IT infrastructure services.
Academic restructuring activities have included expanding online course offerings, restructuring the Graduate Division, reducing the unit requirements for undergraduate majors, consolidating International Institute majors, and reducing and eliminating low enrollment courses. In addition, the size of the faculty has been reduced by more than 80 positions over the last three years.
New revenue generation has been and will continue to be an important area of focus. The key accomplishment in this area is the increased enrollment of non-resident undergraduate students. New investment strategies, continued philanthropic support, and extramural funding have also been vital revenue sources for the campus. At the local level, many academic units have increased their reliance on Professional School Differential Fees, self-supporting programs, and/or Summer Sessions revenue. Additional revenue has been obtained from a new course materials fee to support classroom technology. The campus has established a new UCLA Investment Company to improve performance of the UCLA Foundation Endowment and is developing a 501(c) (3) to oversee the management of intellectual property and industry-sponsored research contracting.
UCLA will continue to expand online course offerings, self-supporting and certificate programs, and the availability of required courses in Summer Sessions. There are a number of information technology systems under development to streamline processes in payroll and human resources (UC PATH), the financial system, and for maintaining faculty information (OPUS). Administrative and academic restructuring efforts are also underway in a variety of units ranging from CNSI to the Humanities.
With the passage of Proposition 30 in November 2012 and the recent passage of the California State Budget for 2013-14, state funding appears to have stabilized. However, there is little likelihood that state support will be restored anytime soon to the levels that we enjoyed as recently as 2007-08. We continue to face rising costs for an array of items such as the retirement system, health care and other employee benefits, compensation increases for represented staff, merit increases for faculty, and mandated fees to support the Office of the President. The result is that our financial situation is challenging and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
We anticipate a balanced budgetary environment in UCLA’s General Fund in 2013-14 and beyond. Such a budget will do little, however, to assist academic and administrative units with cost increases. Nor will it allow the campus to make strategic investments. The major challenge moving forward for our deans and senior administration is aligning our budget with our priorities.
Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost