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Davis, California

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Ask Katehi

How much of the school’s funding is fixed, as in, you have no say over where it is allocated? 

This is a great question since the answer helps explain the magnitude of the budget challenges facing UC Davis. UC Davis – with annual expenditures of about $3.1 billion in 2009-10 – receives revenue from many sources. But a substantial portion of that funding – a little more than 80 percent annually – provides the campus with comparatively little flexibility in how it is spent:


Revenues from operations at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento – 36 percent.

Restricted support from the federal, state and local governments, largely to support specific research projects – 22 percent.

Sales and service activities and auxiliary enterprises: revenue that supports a wide range of services that UC Davis offers, from student housing to scientific tests provided to university and non-university customers – 11 percent. 

Private gifts, grants and contracts, almost all fully restricted – 7 percent.

Student fees, including summer session, University Extension and other campus fees, all with varying degrees of restriction – 5 percent.

This leaves about 19 percent of the campus budget – or about $590 million in 2009-10 – that is largely available for general use on campus. These revenues come from the state’s general appropriation to the University of California and from tuition paid by resident and nonresident students. This funding, while largely discretionary, constitutes the core support of the campus’ teaching mission.

It is this state general appropriation that has eroded so steeply in recent years.  Indeed, for 2011-12, Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed a $500 million cut to UC that translates to nearly a $73 million cut for UC Davis. If the Legislature adopts the governor’s budget, support for UC Davis will have been reduced by almost 40 percent over a four-year period. Thus, the campus faces many tough choices, which we will begin to outline in the coming months.

Got a question for the chancellor? Send it to campus@theaggie.org.


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