Chancellor Birgeneau to implement cost-cutting measures in line with report’s recommendations

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau (left) has said he will implement recommendations made in a consultants’ report in order to reduce costs at the campus by a minimum of $75 million annually over the next three years.

Cost cutting will focus on five areas: procurement, organizational simplification, information technology, energy and student services. Initiative teams will be appointed to design specific solutions in each of these five areas and the university will establish a Program Office to oversee all the initiatives taken as a result of the report.

The Operational Excellence report was published on April 12, and Chancellor Birgeneau released his response to the university community yesterday. He said significant investments will need to be made in automation, process improvements, people, and training, “many of which are long overdue”, and that Cal is exploring low-cost financing options to enable it to borrow the money needed to make these investments.

He wrote: “We have taken dramatic steps to reduce our operating expenses, especially over the past two years.  Nevertheless, we cannot count on the State to cover our full operating costs in the highly competitive market for world-class faculty, staff, students and facilities. I strongly believe that our campus has significant opportunities to achieve the savings and operational improvements that we need. This will require a systematic and sustained effort for the next 2-3 years.  It will not be easy.  Each of us will have to change the way we work, and the way we work with each other, in order to streamline our operations and produce meaningful savings.”

The full letter can be read here.