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Budget Framework: Rebalancing Core Funds

uc davis students balancing a weight on a wire in engineering class

A growing gap must be addressed, as funds that the university receives from state appropriations and tuition routinely fall short of expenses traditionally supported by these "core funds." 

This 90-second video introduces the motivation behind UC Davis beginning a multi-year process to rebalance its budget for core funds, with former Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph Hexter.

COVID-19 Update: The pandemic has put significant additional stress on the university’s finances.

“Considering the unprecedented changes in our operating and financial status that began this Spring, it is fortunate that UC Davis was already in the mindset of identifying efficiencies, increasing net revenue, and strategically reducing expenditures on core funds.  Although there is significant uncertainty about the exact magnitude of the budget challenge we will face in the coming years, it is clear that we must continue, and likely accelerate and expand upon, the approach outlined in the budget framework.”
Mary S. Croughan, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Read Initial Budget Framework Letter from March 9 (PDF) 

Read Update to Budget Status Letter from July 17 (PDF)

By 2025, UC Davis needs to reduce ongoing reliance on state funds and tuition revenue (core funds) by $80–100 million and fundamentally change the way we operate to sustain a balanced budget and maintain a responsible central reserve. These actions will allow UC Davis to invest in strategic priorities, build a responsible central reserve and meet future challenges.

  • Within five years, UC Davis must have a balanced and sustainable core funds operating budget.
  • Campus units must make fundamental, long-term changes in business practices and fund management strategies across all facets of UC Davis to achieve financial sustainability.

In an organization as complex and varied as UC Davis, only a multi-faceted approach to this challenge will be successful. We must critically evaluate and innovate our practices around resource generation and utilization by:

  • Looking for opportunities to grow net revenue from new sources
  • Striving for improved processes to achieve operational efficiencies
  • Aligning our expenditures with our priorities and leveraging all sources to support our mission 


All parts of campus must work together to rebalance the budget for core funds

Budget Framework Advisory Committee, with leaders representing several different types of campus constituencies, has been established to inform the budget process.

The Advisory Committee has assisted in development of the following core principles to guide our efforts:

  • Our commitment to students' success and experience will not be compromised. 
  • The good of the university as a whole drives the discussion of resource allocation adjustments. 
  • Administration and faculty have shared responsibility and accountability to support responsible financial management.

Throughout this process, we will hold firm to our principles and primary mission by:

  • Continuing to make progress on the strategic plan goals identified in “To Boldly Go.”
  • Continuing to invest in infrastructure needs.
  • Leveraging and diversifying our activities appropriately across all fund sources and strategically growing fund sources to support our mission and goals.
  • Enabling all employees to work smarter and direct their effort toward the most benefit for the university.
  • Using benchmarks and data in decision-making.
  • Weighing long-term risks and return on investments.