Illustration by Kenneth Srivijittakar.
Illustration by Kenneth Srivijittakar.

At the beginning of the fall 2008 quarter, total freshmen enrollment at UC Santa Cruz tallied in around 4,573 students.

This fall 2009, campus admission officials estimate that number will drop to under 3,850.

What’s the budgetary bottom line of this decrease?

About 2,675,100 fewer registration and measure dollars and 735,291 fewer educational fee dollars coming into UCSC this school year piled atop ongoing UC system-wide budget cuts.

The Office of the Academic Senate’s Committee on Budget and Planning reported at the end of June that UCSC made approximately $10.5 million in campus-wide cuts during the 2008-2009 school year.

With additional permanent cuts totaling $13.5 million and more than $20 million in salary and one-time cuts expected in 2009-2010, the UCSC budget beast is a wildly important but truly daunting one to tackle. City on a Hill Press breaks down the most vital pieces of UCSC’s financial puzzle.


By the Numbers

$540 million: the approximate annual operating budget for UC Santa Cruz. This dollar amount is from the 2008-2009 school year and includes money coming from various sources in various amounts.

Of that $540 million, primary expense categories are as follows:

Supplies: $162.9 million
Staff Salaries and General Assistance: $148.9 million
Special Outlays (financial aid, library books, utilities, extramural research): $143.7 million
Academic Salaries (faculty, teaching assistants and librarians): $91.3 million
Employee Benefits: $40.9 million

$290 million: the approximate amount of general, or core funds, allotted to UCSC yearly and derived through a combination of taxes from the state of California, the educational fee paid by all students and out of state tuition paid by nonresident students.


Registration Fee

  • Frequently referred to simply as the “Reg Fee”
  • System-wide mandatory fee
  • Fee level is set by the Board of Regents.
  • Retained entirely by the campus and used to support various student service activities like:
    • counseling and mental health services
    • academic advising
    • tutorial assistance
    • cultural and recreation programs
    • intercollegiate athletics
    • arts and lectures

General Funds and Core Funds

  • General funds are derived from CA state taxes, educational fees and out of state tuition and allotted to UCSC annually.
  • General funds pay for instruction and research costs, the McHenry and engineering libraries, the admission, registration and financial aid offices, maintenance and upkeep of state-funded facilities on campus and other campus administrative services.
  • General funds are the primary monetary source that pays for campus faculty and staff salaries.

Measure 7

  • When the state targeted a cut to the student service programs supported by the Reg Fee in 2003-2004, UCSC students placed a referendum on the Spring 2003 ballot to institute a new mandatory fee Measure 7 which was meant to preserve the variety and quality of the student programs threatened by a state imposed cut.
  • Measure 7 passed with 91% of the vote and is now a campus-based mandatory fee at UCSC.
  • Also called the Student Programs Fee, Measure 7 is meant to protect and preserve the variety, quality and diversity of student programs at UCSC.
  • The programs/services that received the greatest percentage of the total funds garnered through Measure 7 in 2009 were as follows:
Business Services and Reserves: ($1,478,854 – 9.4%)
Colleges: ($1,319,802 – 8.4%)
Student Academic Support Services: ($1,146,546 – 7.3%)
Student Health Services: ($2,607,918 – 16.6%)
Student Life: ($1,457,814 – 9.3%)
Provision Employee Benefits Reg Fee: ($2,564,432 – 16.3%)
Provision – Debt Service: ($1,219,439 – 7.8%)

Educational Fee

A UC system-wide mandatory fee
Educational fees go to the UC Office of the President (UCOP) and are allocated to the various campuses based on enrollment levels.
Up to one-third of the educational fee allocated to UCSC is used to pay for need-based financial aid.
The amount returned to aid for undergraduate students is 33 percent and 50 percent for graduate students.
The Regents of the University of California (UC Regents) determine what the amount of the fee will be with variations dependent upon residency status and academic level.

According to the UCSC Office of the Registrar, 2009-2010 educational fee amounts are as follows:

Undergraduate residents: $6,888
Undergraduate nonresidents: $7,536
Graduate residents: $7,122
Graduate nonresidents: $8,178

Important Groups

Student Fee Advisory Committee (SFAC)

  • Comprised of students, faculty and staff, this group reports to and advises the chancellor and vice-chancellor of Student Affairs about the various programs and services funded by student registration fees and the Student Programs Fee, or Measure 7.
  • SFAC informs the chancellor and vice-chancellor about the student body’s attitudes regarding spending of the Registration Fee and Educational Fee funds and studies the various programs and services supported by registration and educational fees in order to make informed recommendations to the chancellor about funding priorities.

Council on Student Fees (CSF)

  • Founded as an advisory committee to the UC Students Association.
  • The CSF is comprised of the chairs of the Student Fee Advisory Committees (SFAC) or Registration Fee Advisory Committees (RFAC) at each of the nine University of California campuses.
  • Similar to SFAC’s role at UCSC, the CSF is a student advisory board that represents students in UC system-wide policy decisions and deliberations pertaining to the use of student fees.
  • The CSF also functions as a forum for discussing UC-wide fee policies while advocating for students’ needs and priorities.

Committee on Planning and Budget (CPB)

  • The CPB is an arm of UCSC’s Academic Senate
  • One of Academic Senate’s largest committees, the CPB is comprised of nine faculty members, a faculty Chair and Vice-Chair, one graduate student representative and one or two undergraduate student representatives.
  • The CPB confers with the chancellor to make recommendations regarding all budgetary and planning matters, including the organization of, and relations among divisions, schools, colleges, departments, and programs of study, Organized Research Units, and the University Library.
  • In the event of budgetary changes, such as those currently underway at UCSC, the CPB is involved in all proposals to initiate, abolish, or alter any academic programs and utilizes advice and input from various other committees and organizations to inform its recommendations to the chancellor.