Budget Update - February 4, 2011
This afternoon I held an open campus forum to discuss Governor Brown’s proposed budget reductions to The California State University (CSU) system and the possible effect of this reduction on CSU Stanislaus. Please know that I share your concern about the potential impact of the budget reduction, and I assure you we will do everything within our power to minimize the impact on our students and our employees.
As you are likely aware, Governor Brown has proposed an 18 percent—$500 million—funding reduction to the CSU in fiscal year 2011/2012. This represents the lowest level of state support to the CSU since 1999, yet the CSU campuses serve 70,000 more students than we did 12 years ago. The CSU leadership has characterized Governor Brown’s proposed reduction as a “best case” scenario—the $500 million cut level is predicated on two things: legislative approval to hold a special election in June, and voter approval to continue certain taxes and fees due to expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Additional budget reductions to the CSU will likely occur should voters reject the extension in a special election planned in June 2011. You also should be aware that, even if the special election is approved by the legislature and the voters support the tax extension, the Governor has stated that the majority of those funds would go to K-12 and local governments and not to higher education.
Considering the current budget proposal from the Governor and the fact that CSU Stanislaus represents 2.2 percent of the total CSU budget, we can project the possibility of a funding reduction of close to $9 million to CSU Stanislaus in FY 2011/2012. This is based on the fact that the CSU Trustees have already approved a ten percent fee increase that will provide a $2 million increase in revenue for us in FY 2011/2012, thus bringing our net budget cut to $9 million. However, please bear in mind that there are many factors we must consider in calculating our final share of the cuts, some of which are not yet known to us.
As this projected level of budget reduction has the potential to touch every area of our campus, I would like to assure you of my commitment to an open and consultative process to address our fiscal challenges. Please look for updated budget information to be relayed, as available, via the following channels:
- CSU Stanislaus Budget Central web page (which includes an updated comments and suggestions form for the campus community to relay thoughts and information, and updated links to identify your elected representatives)
- Email messages
- Future open forums
- University Budget Advisory Committee (UBAC)
- College and division meetings
- Dean’s Council
I am quite saddened and disappointed that our elected officials do not appear to either understand or value the essential role higher education can play in the economic recovery of our great State. The level of funding reductions we have endured over the past several years, combined with the extensive cuts yet to come, have caused all of us to question California's historic commitment to supporting the highest level of educational attainment for its citizens. Absent that commitment, we are left with very few options. Nevertheless, I am confident that by working together to eliminate the many costly and time consuming bureaucratic processes that tend to stifle our creativity and our ability to generate new resources, we can identify innovative programs and services that will enable us to continue to advance our essential mission.
I thank all of you, once again, for your steadfast commitment to serving our students to the best of your ability and for demonstrating to the surrounding communities and beyond that California State University, Stanislaus has both the will and spirit to meet these challenges head on during these critical times.
Hamid Shirvani, President
California State University, Stanislaus
One University Circle
Turlock, CA 95382