Chancellor Carol Christ announced balanced budget, strategic plan updates

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Chancellor Carol Christ announced in a campuswide email sent Monday that UC Berkeley has achieved a balanced budget.

The campus eliminated its $150 million structural deficit through “painful” but “important” budget cuts as well as new revenue streams — raising a total of $1.2 billion within the past two years, according to the email.

Christ added that she anticipates this year’s fundraising to be the “most important and most ambitious” campaign yet. Despite these fundraising efforts, Christ said in the email that the campus will continue to rely on state funding and tuition hikes.

On another note, Christ delivered updates on the strategic plan in the email, which was unveiled in April 2018. In the email, Christ detailed how the plan will encourage students and staff to impact society through innovation, entrepreneurship and inclusion.

“(The) strategic plan is now driving changes in the undergraduate experience that will improve the support and academic counseling we provide and put discovery and creative expression at the very center of our students’ academic lives,” Christ said in the email.

Christ also provided updates on the Undergraduate Student Diversity Project, which collaborated last spring, will be posting a list of recommendations for how the campus can diversify the admissions application process and increase inclusion within the campus community. A graduate student diversity task force, with a similar goal as the project, will soon be announced.

In addition, Christ provided an update on campus efforts to address the student housing crisis. She announced that the campus is in the process of completing an agreement to construct a residential hall on the corner of University Avenue and Oxford Street. Plans for the People’s Park housing project will begin in two years, according to the campuswide email.

Christ noted, however, that these housing projects may be impacted or delayed because of litigation filed by the city of Berkeley, such as the lawsuit filed against the campus in response to construction on the Upper Hearst Parking Structure site.

“We will have much more to say about all of these important projects and initiatives, each of which is a testament to the power of collaboration and shared commitment to the values and aspirations that animate and unite us,” Christ said in the email.

Julie Madsen is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @Julie_Madsen_.