---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Christopher Edley
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 17:05:29 -0700
Subject: Budget update
To: Students - 1L; Students - 2L
Dear Berkeley Law Student:
I write to update you on the financial situation at the Law School in
light of the on-going budget crisis in California and the consequent
challenges for UC Berkeley. My central message is one of reassurance:
We will continue to offer the best education of any law school on this
or any nearby planet. At this point I foresee few if any budget cuts
that will have material near-term effects on students.
The most significant program consequences to you will likely be some modest reduction in the number of small-enrollment offerings by adjunct lecturers, some slowing of the rapid expansion of the faculty we have pursued in recent years, perhaps some limitations on the scope of technical support on computer issues, and perhaps a slight reduction in the caloric content of the free lunches at speaking events.
On the positive side, it now appears likely that we will be able to follow through with the announcements I made earlier this spring concerning expansions in the Loan Repayment Assistance Program, more summer public interest fellowship grants, expansion of career services counseling, and several other measures. We will continue and expand the Boalt in D.C. program for a semester of study in Washington, D.C. We will continue our program of classroom renovations and construction.
The West Terrace will be completed before classes begin. Excavation for the South Addition will be complete in a few days. Eight new core faculty members join us this summer, which gets us three-quarters of the way toward the goal set when I arrived five years ago of a 40% net
increase in the faculty.
Please be clear, however, that the budget situation remains fluid. The Chancellor and Provost have not yet finalized the campus plans, in part because the Legislature remains tied in knots. Gordian, it seems. The Law School is in remarkably sound shape compared with most other campus units, and compared with most of our peer institutions. There are several reasons: our strategy of steadily raising tuition closer towards a benchmark of about 10% below the average of top-10 schools; the $125 million capital campaign has produced successive years of record alumni contributions; our low dependence on state appropriations, relative to other campus units, because the state support for the Law School was disproportionately cut during the recession earlier in the decade; the relatively small contribution of endowment income in our revenue stream, relative to other top-10 schools. The last two points mean we are more insulated than we would otherwise be from sharp state budget cuts and the Wall Street meltdown. Make no mistake, times will be tight. However, I simply do not expect that we will face the extraordinary budget reductions hitting many of our peer schools.
I hope the balance of your summer is both productive and restful.
Dean and Orrick Professor of Law
Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley
Christopher Edley, Jr.
The Honorable William H. Orrick, Jr. Distinguished Chair and Dean
University of California