November 12, 2015

Charting a Sustainable Financial Model 

Nathan Brostrom, CFO, University of California, to Discuss System Wide Budget Projections   

BERKELEY, CA, Nov. 12, 2015 – Nathan Brostrom executive Vice President-Chief Financial Officer, University of California, Office of the President, will present a talk on the system wide budget projections for the University of California.  The UC system educates nearly 250,000 students annually and has yearly budget of over $28 billion. As CFO, Brostrom oversees all aspects of financial manage- ment for the UC system which includes ten campuses, five medical centers and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.  The mission of the CFO Division is to provide leadership, operational oversight, and system coordination of financial products and services for the University of California community.  

 In his presentation, Brostrom will explore how we can build a solid and sustainable financial model for the University of California while preserving and enhancing the most important values of our public mission.  Recent developments in the UC budget scenario illustrate the complexity of building that model.  On June 2015, UC President Janet Napolitano announced that Governor Jerry Brown signed a final state budget agreement, after extensive meetings following the Governor’s preliminary budget release in January, that provides UC with significant new revenue while capping resident tuition at its current level for the next two years.  Some specifics of the agreement include provisions from the State of a 4 percent base budget increase for each of the next four years, with predictable tuition increases pegged to the rate of inflation beginning in 2017-18; and a one-time infusion of $436 million over three years for UC’s pension obligation.  In exchange for increased state funding for the University’s pension plan, UC is required to adopt a new pension tier for future employees by July, 2016.  In a recent announcement, President Janet Napolitano will ask the regents on Nov. 19th to approve an operating budget that increases enrollment in 2016-2017 by 5,000 California freshmen and transfer students with additional enrollment growth in the following two years.  These developments meet the regents’ goals of providing budget stability and predictability, while boosting enrollment of California students.  

 Nathan Brostrom joined UC in 2006 as Vice Chancellor for Administration at the Berkeley campus.  Before coming to UC Berkeley, he spent ten years as Managing Director and Manager of the Western Public Finance Group at JPMorgan, where he worked on financings totaling more than $100 billion for municipal clients throughout the western United States. He served as lead banker on the 11.3 billion energy bond program for the California Department of Water Resources, the financing that repaid the state general fund for the lost revenue from the 2000-2001 energy crisis. Brostrom has served as banker for higher education and cultural institutions including Stanford University, the Getty Trust, the California State University system, the California community college system, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the San Francisco Ballet and other cultural institutions in the western United States. Over ten years, he worked on financings totaling over $4.3 billion for the Regents of the University of California.  Of his move to the Berkeley campus, and subsequent move to the UC Office of the President, Brostrom stated in an interview in 2010,

“I was drawn to higher education, but to UC Berkeley in particular, because of its combined commitment to both excellence and access, and those twin pillars are threatened in the current funding environment.”

 “One of the things I saw here at OP was the ability to work directly on trying to develop some solid and sustainable funding models that will preserve both the excellence of the institution and its access for all Californians.”

Carol Christ, Director of Center for Studies in Higher Education, will moderate the presentation by Nathan Brostrom at 240 Bechtel Hall, from 4-5pm on Friday, 11/13

Sponsored by: The Center for Studies in Higher Education and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education & Office of the Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion


Nathan Brostrom was appointed Executive Vice President – Chief Financial Officer for the University of California in September, 2014.  Prior to his CFO appointment and since September 2009, Nathan served as Executive Vice President – Business Operations for the UC system.  Brostrom joined the University of California in 2006 as Vice Chancellor for Administration at the Berkeley campus.  Before coming to UC Berkeley in 2006, Brostrom served as Managing Director and Manager of the Western Region Public Finance group at JPMorgan.  He also worked for four years in the office of the California State Treasurer.  Brostrom graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University and holds a master’s degree in public and international affairs from Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

Carol Christ is the Director, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley; former President, Smith College; and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, UC Berkeley.

Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) was established in 1956 and was the first research institute in the United States devoted to the study of systems, institutions, and processes of higher education.  The Center’s mission is to produce and support multi-disciplinary scholarly perspectives on strategic issues in higher education, to conduct relevant policy research, to promote the development of a community of scholars and policymakers engaged in policy-oriented discussion, and to serve the public as a resource on higher education.