Messages to Students
February 15, 2010
It is my pleasure to welcome you back to campus.
I am pleased to report that, in addition to the 60 classes added to the course schedule for this spring, CSU Stanislaus will receive $1.17 million as its share of the final distribution of one-time Federal stimulus funds from the CSU Chancellor. These funds will allow us to add even more classes next semester to help students maintain progress toward their degree and to graduate.
I also want to encourage you to join the statewide student march to the State Capitol, scheduled for March 22. This event is meant to give students an opportunity to take their message to Sacramento, where decisions on the budget are made. Given the extensive cuts to all sectors of education, our legislators need to be reminded that access to educational opportunities for all students who can benefit is essential, and that education plays an important role in California's economic recovery and future growth. Help take the message to Sacramento: Restore funding to higher education and invest in California's future! You may contact your ASI officers for more information.
In addition, I am excited to report that in 2011 CSU Stanislaus will host the NCAA Division II Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships. This event will serve to spotlight our great new student recreation complex and facilities, and bring national attention to our outstanding University.
Message to Students
February 01, 2010
I am writing to report on the status of the class sections the University was able to add through our share of Federal stimulus funds received from the Chancellor’s Office, as well as on the 2010-11 Governor’s budget proposal for the California State University system.
Due to severe budget cuts as well as mandated enrollment downsizing, we had to cut a large number of class sections for this academic year. However, I am pleased to report that the Federal stimulus funds were used to add 52 class sections as identified in the enclosed list.
As you know, during the last two fiscal years the CSU system budget has been slashed by $625 million. I am encouraged by Governor Schwarzenegger’s newly released budget proposal, as it would restore $305 million in one-time cuts made during the current 2009-10 budget year, as well as $60.6 million for 2.5% enrollment growth if federal funds are committed. Although this level of funding is still below the level provided in FY 2007-08, we appreciate the focus that has been placed on higher education.
I hope that you will join with us to strongly encourage the legislature to adopt the Governor’s budget proposal for the CSU, which would allow us to serve more students in the 2010-11 academic year. We look forward to your participation and support.
January 20, 2010
After a week of searching for survivors in the aftermath of a magnitude-7 earthquake, Haiti suffered a magnitude-6.1 aftershock this morning.
As news accounts have shown, it was already difficult getting care and basic resources to victims. Today’s aftershock may further hinder aid efforts.
It’s impossible to watch the tragedy unfold without wanting to reach out to Haiti. As much as we may want to lend our own hands to search-and-rescue efforts – as presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton have said – the best way to help is by donating money.
If you are moved to help and don’t know how, please consider contributing to the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund. A hundred percent of the money donated to the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund will be dedicated to Haiti’s short- and long-term needs.
To make a donation, go to http://clintonbushhaitifund.org.
Donations can also be made by texting the word "QUAKE" to 20222, which will charge $10 to the user's cell phone bill.
Our hearts go out to the victims and their families and I know that any support you are able to provide would be greatly appreciated.
The New Year
January 05, 2010
Each New Year is a time for reflecting on the past and looking forward with hope to the future. As a campus, we have faced months of fiscal challenge and uncertainty. Our great state of California has languished in the financial doldrums for nearly two years edging ever closer to insolvency. Institutions like ours, which rely almost exclusively on resources coming from the state, faced severe reductions in funding. For Stanislaus, this year alone we had to deal with a 20% budget cut. Student fee increases and voluntary furloughs helped to hold our cuts to this level, but these kinds of pressures take their toll on the entire campus community
So what lies ahead? The past year was difficult; will the New Year bring some relief? While we all hope that things will improve, there are many indicators that suggest the financial storm is not over, especially for California. As the state begins its budget deliberations, the condition of the economy plus lagging revenue receipts at the state level lead some analysts to project that the state of California will face, at minimum, an additional $21 Billion budget deficit in FY 2010-11. Unabated, this could mean further reductions in funding to all sectors of the state budget including the CSU.
During the past couple of months we have worked with all of the operating divisions on campus to discuss and articulate the implications of a wide range of budget scenarios in order to fully understand our options and their consequences for our campus. These discussions included consultation with deans, academic department chairs, faculty, vice presidents, and managers. Some have chosen to take these preliminary discussions out of context and have nurtured rumors and exaggerations that have added to the fear and anxiety on campus, especially among our students. However, the information obtained from those discussions is useful and will guide us as we begin the budget process for FY 2010-11 in earnest this month. We also have heard from students about the impact of significant fee increases on their ability to pursue their academic goals. Certainly, if state funding continues to diminish, some additional burdens may fall on the students, but we are lobbying hard to have the state live up to the Master Plan promises and fund the equivalent of these potential fee increases.
Based upon what we know now, we are not anticipating further mid-year reductions to our FY 2009-10 budget. This means that all of the painful actions taken in the Spring and Fall of 2009 should carry us through the current fiscal year. We recognize that the situation could change tomorrow, but based upon current information we are not planning any layoffs in the first quarter of this year. In fact, funded by stimulus monies, some additional courses and sections were opened for Spring 2010 to help students continue progress toward their degree. We are working on implementing on-line advising, which also will help student progress toward degree.
It will be a challenging year, but we must work together to position our university to be strong and prepared for whatever lies ahead.
December 18, 2009
I hope this email finds you well and you are enjoying the holiday season as you complete your final exams. It has been a difficult year on campus as we deal with unprecedented state budget cuts to public higher education. A number of tough decisions have had to be made in order to continue providing a quality education for all of you despite reduced resources. Please know that through it all, serving you and your educational needs remains the top priority here at California State University, Stanislaus.
Moving forward, I will be reaching out to each of you personally in a series of e-mails aimed at providing you with clear and accurate information about the decisions being made and more importantly how they will impact you as students. This first e-mail will focus on the elimination of Winter Term, beginning in the 2010-2011 academic year, since a lot of misinformation has spread across campus about it.
It is important to note that Winter Term is being replaced with a three-week inter-session and, therefore, students will still have access to taking courses between the fall and spring semesters. In fact, the number and variety of courses offered will actually increase.
When Winter Term first began in the 1970s, a majority of faculty taught classes during Winter Term and a majority of students enrolled in Winter Term. However, that is no longer the case. Currently, less than 60 percent of CSU Stanislaus students take Winter Term and less than five percent of direct instruction during Winter Term is taught by tenure-track faculty.
Additionally, students who receive financial aid but choose not to take Winter Term lose some of their financial aid money due to federal requirements. The Financial Aid Office has documented that in 2008/2009 CSU Stanislaus students actually lost $430,500 in deserved financial aid because they did not enroll in Winter. In addition, full-time students who receive a Pell Grant will now receive on average $400 to $500 more per year. By replacing Winter Term with an inter-session, the 60 percent of students who have historically taken Winter Term will still be able to take courses during inter-session while those who choose not to register for inter-session no longer have to worry about losing some of their financial aid. It truly is a win-win.
In addition to the course offering and financial aid benefits for students, eliminating Winter Term also helps the campus deal with its share of system-wide budget cuts. With the elimination of Winter Term, we will save about $1.2 million.
As you can see, student needs are in no way hampered by the elimination of Winter Term. Courses will be available during inter-session, scholarships will be available for students who demonstrate an inability to pay for inter-session, graduation requirements remain the same, and you will have access to your professors for four additional weeks. The academic calendar will simply be more similar to that of every other CSU campus while saving CSU Stanislaus significant time and financial resources.
If you have additional questions about the new Academic Calendar, please visit the University Web site at www.csustan.edu/academics/QandA.html.
I hope you have found this e-mail to be helpful. I am truly proud of all of you as the students of CSU Stanislaus who help foster our campus’ unique charm, vibrant spirit, and outstanding reputation. I wish you all the best as you finish the fall semester, and I look forward to seeing you back on campus after the holidays.
December 16, 2009