Following up on our January 30 message about the recent contract agreements between the University of California and the United Auto Workers, we write to provide guidance related to the short-term financial impact of these agreements.
We recognize that this topic has great urgency for many in our community, and that the most immediate concerns are tied to funding for the upcoming academic year. Currently, we anticipate that all academic departments will be able to manage budgets for the remainder of the current academic year. If that is not the case, department leaders should reach out to the Office of Academic Planning and Budget (APB) for guidance.
More information about the impacts of the recent agreements is available on the APO site. This site will be kept up to date with FAQs and resources for our community in the weeks ahead.
Maintaining Research Excellence
For the 2023–24 academic year, the central campus has set aside $5 million to support faculty members in cases where existing grants cannot cover Graduate Student Researcher salary increases that result from UAW contract settlements. This one-time bridge funding will be available through an application process managed by APB. Principal Investigators can apply through the assistant deans of their schools. We ask Principal Investigators to use grants and other funds to cover as much of any budget shortfall as can be absorbed without hardship or harm before seeking this additional funding.
Support for Teaching Assistants
It is critical to UCLA’s educational mission that we maintain the same level of classroom seats for our undergraduate population and that we do not degrade teaching and learning. This, in turn, requires that UCLA maintain an appropriate number of teaching assistants to support undergraduate courses. The university has designated a one-time funding pool to help with increased teaching assistant salaries associated with the new contract agreements. This funding pool will provide half of the financial cost associated with the increased salaries, with departments expected to take mitigating actions and/or fund the remainder of the cost. For units in financial distress, additional funding may be provided as needed on a case-by-case basis. We will work with schools to ensure that the academic mission of the campus remains strong and intact over the upcoming year.
Support Packages and Cohort Sizes
In an effort to support departments as they make admissions and financial decisions in the context of the new contract agreements, block allocations have been frozen at their current (2022–23 admission cycle) levels for at least the next year. In addition, the block allocation nomination deadlines were extended until March 3, 2023 and rules regarding the amount of block grant carryforward that could be requested for the 2023–24 academic year were relaxed. Please see Dean Ettner’s Jan. 30 message to campus academic leadership (PDF) for further details. Departments are encouraged to be mindful of future resource commitments in determining the appropriate size of cohorts for the coming year.
As we shared previously, three committees were recently established to provide recommendations for long-term solutions to move UCLA forward following the strike. One of the committees — the Committee to Discuss Impacts of the Collective Bargaining Agreement on the Research Enterprise — has finalized its Impacts on Research report (PDF), which will inform decision making in the months ahead. Information and resources from the Healthy Climate Committee, which aims to help heal rifts in our community that developed during the strike, will be shared soon. Our Joint Administrative and Academic Senate Task Force on the Future of Graduate Education will publish its report by the end of fall quarter 2023.
We thank you for your continued patience as the campus navigates the new landscape that accompanies the UC-UAW contract agreements. While we do not yet have all of the answers, campus leaders are committed to working with faculty and staff to support the continued excellence of our academic programs and allow us to meet the needs of current and future students.
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Interim Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer
Susan L. Ettner
Dean of Graduate Education