Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Money Tree at the Fresno Bee

You probably don’t follow the editorial page of the Fresno Bee religiously. With that in mind, yours truly reproduces an editorial that appeared on it last week – without comment.

But before I do, you might be interested in the comment by state controller John Chiang regarding state revenues through the first quarter of the fiscal year and the possibility that the so-called budget “trigger” would be pulled – further cutting the UC budget:

"For better or worse, the potential for revenue shortfalls is precisely why the Governor and Legislature included trigger cuts in this year's State spending plan," Chiang said… "September's revenues alone do not guarantee that triggers will be pulled. But as the largest revenue month before December, these numbers do not paint a hopeful picture."


EDITORIAL: Applauding support for UC Merced

Oct. 7, 2011

We're pleased that University of California President Mark Yudof confirmed in his clearest terms yet the system's commitment to support UC Merced as a premier research university. Yudof made the statement after the formal welcoming ceremony for Dorothy Leland, UC Merced's new chancellor. Even though it's the first research university built in the 21st century, UC Merced has gotten some rough treatment from old-line UC members who think the six-year old university is cutting into the diminishing UC funding. But Yudof reiterated the UC Office of the President's agreement for several million dollars to fund UC Merced's student and faculty growth. He called for the state to come through with more money for desperately needed buildings to accommodate surging enrollment.

Here's what's on the drawing board:

The Science & Engineering 2 Building is the next state-funded building planned. A lease-revenue bond sale is scheduled for next month. If funding comes through as planned, the university expects occupancy in late 2014. The Office of the President has agreed to provide $20 million (from general university funds -- no state resources or tuition) this fall for a student services building, which should be ready for use by fall 2013.

Construction of a fourth housing facility (non-state-funded) is slated to begin this fall for occupancy in 2013. External financing and other non-state resources have been secured to expand the existing Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center this year. Occupancy is anticipated next fall.

By the time all those buildings are ready for people, UC Merced will have run out of space. So we urge the UC administration and state lawmakers to favorably consider additional funding requests to help UC Merced continue to grow.

As they apparently say in Fresno, let there Bee money:

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