In online conversation, Carol Christ gives budget, campus updates

There are two major budget concerns Chancellor Carol Christ has for UC Berkeley. One, the short-term loss of revenue caused by empty residence halls, canceled performance events and empty athletic fields.

Two, is the anticipated steep, long-term cut in state support as California, and the world, grapple with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both, Christ said in a live online Campus Conversation on Monday, contribute to a Berkeley budget deficit between $170 and $400 million. The conversation was a chance for Christ to take virtual questions from the campus community, including students, staff and faculty.

Christ, who joined via webcam from her California Hall office, said that she and other campus leaders were working to understand the total budget impact for the campus before making any decisions.

Campus leaders, she said, are guided by three principals, including protecting the health of Berkeleyans, maintaining educational consistency and "saving as many jobs as possible."

The short-term loss in revenue due to shelter-in-place is best described as a "steep-V," Christ said, with revenue that will likely start up again as soon as athletics events, residence halls fill with students or performances resume.

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