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King Hall Budget Panel

Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, Oct 30, 2009

Today the Law Students Association hosted a panel discussion on the current budget issues facing King Hall.  The panelists included Patrick Lenz (Vice President of Budget, University of California), Chris Carter (Director, U.C. Davis Office of Budget & Institutional Analysis), and me.  I attended because I felt it was important for students to receive answers directly from the King Hall administration.  Dozens of students attended and asked very good questions, mostly - and understandably - about professional student fees.

Patrick Lenz said that student fees cover only a portion of the necessary funds.  The state makes up the difference, but the state is no longer a reliable partner.  UC is no longer "state funded," but rather "state assisted."

I answered a question about our Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP), which we recently expanded.  I understand that increasing debt-loads have made it difficult for some students to pursue a career in public interest law, which is why we enhanced LRAP so more students can participate.  In addition, the Law School continues to devote 30-35% of professional fees to financial aid and student assistance.  Ensuring access in these difficult times is one of our overriding goals.

I want students to know that we will always work to ensure that we have adequate resources to provide core services.  We are responding to budget cuts by reducing discretionary expenses, including travel.  Please rest assured that the core of King Hall remains strong.  By reducing "extras," we can avoid layoffs of much-needed staff in student services.

Private fundraising is critical, and we are working hard to raise money for student scholarships so that we can compete for the best-and-brightest students.  That is why I spend so much time on the road away from my King Hall family.  It is important to me that students can afford to attend UC Davis School of Law if they are admitted, whatever their economic circumstances.

Thanks to all of you for your understanding in these most difficult budgetary times.  Despite the challenges, I believe the King Hall community will continue to move forward and prosper. 

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