With the University of California millions of dollars in the hole, UC President Mark G. Yudof announced the University will consider issuing employee furloughs and salary reductions.

The finalized state budget released earlier this year revealed significant cuts to UC funding, amounting to a $450 million budget shortfall. According to the UC Office of the President, over 70 percent of the UC core budget is spent funding salaries and job benefits of UC employees.

As a result, Yudof said the UC, which has not yet resorted to employee layoffs, will begin to look into such measures amid the current financial circumstances.

“I believe we need to begin planning for the possibility of employee furloughs and/or temporary and permanent salary reductions as an additional element of the University’s response to the state budget contraction,” Yudof said in a press release.

As a result, Yudof said the UC General Counsel and the Academic Senate, along with several members of the UCOP leadership, would begin drafting a plan to present to the UC Board of Regents this May. The document, titled the Regental Standing Order, will provide a broad legal framework to guide system-wide as well as campus specific furloughs and salary reductions, Yudof said.

Additionally, Yudof said the standing order would fulfill two criteria. Firstly, the guidelines would provide a mechanism for determining how furloughs and salary reductions are decided upon. Secondly, the document would allow for each of the 10 campuses in the UC system to independently enact cuts in a manner consistent with the specific needs and obligations of each campus.

“Only when we have in place these decision-making processes and implicit recognition of the need for campus autonomy should we move forward with the actions necessary to respond to our changing fiscal situation,” Yudof said in the press release.