UC Governance

UC Systemwide Governance

The University of California, Berkeley uses a shared governance model. Our policies are governed by the University of California, Office of the President (UCOP). The Office of the President is the systemwide headquarters of the University of California, managing its fiscal and business operations and supporting the academic and research missions across its campuses, labs and medical centers. The UC system is governed by the Board of Regents, the Academic Senate, and the President of the University of California. The Board of Regents exercises approval over university policies, financial affairs, tuition and fees. There are 18 regents appointed by the governor for 12-year terms. The Academic Senate represents university faculty. It is empowered by the regents to decide academic policies, including approving courses and setting requirements for admission, certificates and degrees.

California does not have a higher education coordinating body, its colleges and universities are governed by a mix of government and independent entities. However, the UC Regents and the Office of the President frequently work with the federal state and local government officials. Our UC Berkeley Government and Community Relations team works to demonstrate the value of UC Berkeley as the nation’s leading public research university to elected officials, government agencies, the local community, and the public at large.

UC Berkeley Governance

While the university is governed by the Regents, the Academic Senate, and the Office of the President, it is supported by the University of California, Berkeley Foundation (UCBF). UCBF supports and advances the mission of the university by encouraging private philanthropy. The foundation ensures that there is a long-term commitment to the campus fundraising program. UCBF provides leadership and serves as an advisory council and steady source of assistance to UC Berkeley’s Chancellor and to the campus as a whole. UC Berkeley's Board of Visitors provides advice and support to the chancellor, executive vice chancellor and provost, and campus leadership. Board members advocate for the university with donors, the public, and policymakers.

UC Berkeley Governance and the Budget Process

At UC Berkeley, the finance division partners with the University Office of the President (UCOP), the Chancellor, the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, and campus leaders to coordinate the annual budget. Each year, the California budget is set by the Governor, which helps UCOP determine their budget and which helps fund what they can allocate to the campuses. Additionally, fees are assessed by UCOP from the ten campuses in the UC system annually. Once the California budget is approved and the UCOP budget is complete, UC Berkeley’s Vice Chancellor of Finance meets with the Chancellor, the Academic Senate, the Council of Deans, the Academic Planning and Resource Allocation (CAPRA) and the Chancellor’s Cabinet to share the campus financial position and provide them with the data they need to make key financial decisions which will set budget assumptions for the coming year. These decisions are ultimately made by the Finance Committee, with essential input from all of the groups listed earlier. Once the budget assumptions are set, the Vice Chancellor of Finance presents the assumptions and an overview of the financial state of the campus to each key group, in addition to the Divisional Finance Leaders (DFLs) and Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs). Next, the Provost’s Office releases the annual “call letter” which sets financial goals and expectations for the divisions for the following year, and provides divisional leaders with a set of guidelines and assumptions to follow as they plan their budget. The divisional budget processes are led by Divisional Finance Leaders (DFLs). These leaders, together with the Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) on campus, are responsible for planning and submitting a budget for each division on the UC Berkeley campus. Frequently, the DFL and the CAO for a division are the same person, although this is not always the case.

UC Berkeley Budget Process and UC System Budget

In August, UC leadership engages the system campuses to plan for enrollment and establish budget priorities for the coming fiscal year. Each campus presents an annual budget update to the UC president in the summer and a strategy presentation in the fall. The systemwide budget proposal is drafted and then discussed with and approved by the Regents. This usually happens between September and November. The California state constitution requires the Governor to submit a balanced budget proposal to the legislature in January each year. In May, the Governor announces any updated revenue forecasts and if the changes are significant from the originally proposed budget, they propose changes in what is called the “May revise”. The legislature has until June 15 to pass the budget. The fiscal year then begins on July 1.