A holiday message from President Mark Yudof, of the University of California, including a conditional: “If our proposed budget is adopted, I expect that we can end the furlough program, which has placed such burdens on staff and faculty, by the summer of 2010.”

UPDATE: The message to the faculty emailed this morning reads, “As you probably know, we are asking Sacramento for an additional $913 million next year, an amount that will restore the steep cuts made over the last two years to the University’s budget. The furloughs will end in the summer of 2010.”

UC COMMUNITY

Dear Colleagues:

As the holiday season approaches, I wanted to share my deep and sincere appreciation for the contributions each one of you has made to the University this past year. Your professionalism and dedication to the University and to serving the public under such challenging circumstances is impressive.

I recognize that this has been a difficult year for all members of the UC community. We have all made sacrifices. When I was forced to make hard choices about closing an unprecedented budget deficit, many of you provided thoughtful, insightful ideas about the fairest and best way to go about it.

Even when we have disagreed about how to protect the University, it’s clear that we share a fundamental goal: UC must retain its standing as a first-class research institution and as a public university accessible to all qualified California students.

You should take great pride in your accomplishments, and in what you and your colleagues have done this year to support the pre-eminent public university system in the world. You are part of an important enterprise that matters to people’s lives.

In the coming year, I will continue to stress the importance of maintaining UC’s pillars of excellence, affordability and access. I will also work hard to stabilize our financial situation. If our proposed budget is adopted, I expect that we can end the furlough program, which has placed such burdens on staff and faculty, by the summer of 2010.

But there is much more to do, and the coming year will be challenging. We know we can’t continue to rely on the sacrifices of students, faculty and staff to weather these tough times. That’s why I am bringing UC’s community members together under one banner – UC for California – to fight for greater and more stable appropriations from the State. Speaking with one voice in Sacramento, we will let our legislators know how vital the University is to California and why it demands their support.

We need every member of the UC community to get involved in this effort. It is critical that Californians understand that UC is their university – that we are growing the ideas, solutions and leaders that will move the state forward.

In closing, let me say once again how grateful I am for the dedication and commitment you bring to UC. Together, we can succeed in maintaining the University as the pride of California, and as a model for the world.

I extend to you my very best wishes for a happy holiday season with family, friends and loved ones.

With best wishes, I am,

Sincerely yours,

Mark G. Yudof
President