BERKELEY, Calif. — The University of California, Berkeley is running a $150 million deficit this year and must undertake a review of expenses if it hopes to sustain its national standing as a premier public institution, the school’s chancellor warned Wednesday.
The university faces difficult decisions as it works to preserve its long-term financial footing, Chancellor Nicholas Dirks said. Consolidating academic departments, evaluating spending on athletics, shedding staff, and admitting fewer doctoral students are some of the changes that will be considered, he said.
‘‘We are fighting to maintain our excellence against those who might equate ‘public’ with mediocrity,’’ Dirks wrote to the campus. ‘‘What we are engaged in here is a fundamental defense of the concept of the public university, a concept that we must reinvent in order to preserve.’’
A cutback in state funding and other factors have created ‘‘a substantial and growing structural deficit’’ at UC Berkeley, Dirks said.