The University of California system’s endowment has declined $1 billion in 2008, $700 million of which was lost since July, The San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday. The university’s fund is now worth $5.7 billion, down from $6.7 billion at the end of last year. UC’s endowment payout is smoothed over long-term average performance, but research, scholarships and other programs that the returns support could face cuts if the losses continue.