Reducing our Deficit


Berkeley had a structural deficit of $159 million in 2016. The deficit came about for many reasons, including several which affected UC as a whole. To reduce the deficit, the campus launched a 5 year plan to bring our budget into balance by 2020. In exchange for funding assistance, we negotiated annual reduction targets with the UC Office of the President. Our performance against these targets was monitored carefully by that office and other external constituents.

We worked hard to reduce the deficit through a combination of new programming that generated revenue, initiatives that made our operations more efficient, and reductions in units’ size and scope. Our original plan called for lowering the deficit to no more than $20 million by July 2019 - a significant reduction, especially in light of the substantial cuts that units already had to weather. However, the state provided Berkeley with one-time funding of $25 million, in recognition of our budgetary efforts and the extent to which the excellence of our academic programs promote the greater good. Because of these efforts, we eliminated the deficit by July, 2019. We are grateful for the hard work and sacrifice on the part of our faculty, students, and staff.

Going through the deficit reduction process helped our campus become less dependent on inconsistent sources of revenue and more reliant on our own more stable revenue-generation strategies. This is what we mean when we talk about creating a new, sustainable financial model.

While we must continue to be disciplined, we can now look ahead, dedicating attention to the investments we need to make in order to address challenges like the student housing crisis, the seismic condition of our buildings, and a backlog of deferred maintenance. In concert with plans to improve our infrastructure, we also intend to invest in expanding the size of our faculty and in implementing new strategies to further improve the quality of student education and experience.