To the UC Davis community:
President Drake shared an updated message today to the UC community with systemwide guidelines to preserve jobs and avoid layoffs to every extent possible for the remainder of the fiscal year. His message contains a series of options and makes it clear that each UC campus should determine what steps are best for their own campus based on financial constraints.
We wish to thank President Drake for his thorough and thoughtful guidance and his understanding that each campus has its own needs.
Here at UC Davis, we were already experiencing significant financial shortfalls prior to the emergence of COVID-19. Prior to the pandemic, UC Davis was projecting an $80 million to $100 million shortfall over the next five years and had already begun to take steps to build a sustainable solution. Once COVID impacted our operations, our financial concerns grew more severe. Earlier this month, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Croughan shared a budget update with the Council of Deans and Vice Chancellors indicating that the pandemic has caused an additional financial impact of $210 million this year.
In light of these projections, we are considering a variety of options for the UC Davis Jobs Protection Program and we have proposed several additional budget mitigation strategies. We will do all we can to avoid permanent layoffs for our employees on both the Davis and Sacramento campuses.
Our first step is to analyze and prepare options that include phased salary reductions, distributed budget reductions and further restrictions to hiring. There may also be other options. Analysis is already underway. We will consult with the Council of Deans and Vice Chancellors, Academic Senate, Academic Federation, Staff Assembly, student leaders and others as appropriate on these potential plans. We anticipate that we will have options in early December that will inform decisions early in 2021.
We want to emphasize what President Drake said: We will continue to do all we can to avoid layoffs, particularly for our lowest paid workers. We must, however, do all we can to plan for severe budget issues after this fiscal year. This won’t be easy, but we will promote a fair and shared sacrifice.
We have already announced a curtailment plan for December dates that continues the past practice of slowing operations during the winter holidays. Given a more concerted effort for 2021, we may revise the December plans to provide more flexibility. Additional information will be provided by Dec. 4.
The impacts of COVID-19 will be felt for years to come, and the economic consequences will be difficult for all of us. We have a lot to overcome, but we are confident we can work together to meet these challenges.
Gary S. May