Budget Update FY2011-12
I am writing to share updated and important information regarding our fiscal year (FY) 2011-12 budget, including the potential for even greater cuts to the California State University (CSU) system and CSU Stanislaus than those currently planned.
FY2011-12 Budget Planning
During the spring, our campus has employed a FY 2011-12 budget planning process grounded in transparency, collegiality and consultation. A simultaneous two-track process formed recommendations on how to best address a $7,567,000 state funding cut to our campus.
The first track focused on divisions and colleges by engaging the vice presidents and deans. Leadership was encouraged to directly share budget information and planning scenarios with faculty and staff, consulting on potential strategies and tactics to meet our budget target.
The second track involved an open, collaborative process through the University Budget Advisory Committee (UBAC), a 14-member body representing faculty, staff, students and administrators. The UBAC meetings were open, and planning activities were publicized through the agendas, notes and videos posted to the UBAC web site. Additionally, the committee held a public forum on April 27, 2011, for any member of the campus community to provide comments and suggestions.
These transparent and consultative processes have yielded a series of FY 2011-12 budget recommendations from UBAC based on the Governor's current budget proposal. Following additional consultation with campus constituent groups, I am pleased to formally accept the UBAC recommendations, which are available at: http://www.csustan.edu/BF/UBAC.html. I commend UBAC for the dedication and commitment to this very time consuming and challenging process, and hope you will join me in expressing appreciation to the UBAC members for a job well done.
The deans and vice presidents will use the UBAC recommendations as the framework to guide preparation of their final detailed budget plans. After I have had an opportunity to review the plans, and ensure they are consistent with the framework, the final campus budget plan will be transmitted to the Chancellor's Office for formal review and approval as it relates to personnel impacts and the bargaining contracts. Once the appropriate authorizations are received from the Chancellor's Office, I will send out another message to the campus community with more detailed information. I ask for your understanding and patience, as this stage of the process may not be concluded any earlier than mid to late June. In addition, the Governor's May Revise to his original FY 2011-12 budget proposal will be issued shortly, so the specter of further cuts will continue to haunt us until a final budget agreement is reached.
State of California “All Cuts” Budget Scenario
Since 2007, our campus has lost 22 percent or $14,162,693 of its state funding (including the known cuts to our FY 2011-12 budget). However, the possibility of even greater cuts still exists.
A final legislative agreement to authorize funding the State of California FY 2011-12 budget through a mix of cuts and revenue has proven elusive. The lone revenue plan involves an extension to specific tax increases in effect since 2009. Governor Brown has indicated a strong possibility that failure of the tax extensions would more than double the current $500 million FY2011-12 budget cut to the CSU. A greater than $1 billion total state funding loss to the CSU under an “all cuts” (no revenue) budget could translate into an additional reduction of up to $12.1 million to CSU Stanislaus.
CSU Contingency Plan
At the recent CSU Board of Trustees meeting, the following contingency plan of action based on a $1 billion state budget cut was discussed:
- “Wait list” applications for Spring 2012 until a final state budget is adopted. A worst-case scenario would deny 20,000 qualified applicants admission to CSU campuses.
- The Board of Trustees may be asked to approve an additional 20 percent increase to tuition fees (on top of the 10 percent already approved for Fall 2011, netting a compound increase of 32 percent). This would increase the annual tuition level by $1,566 to $6,450, plus individual campus fees.
None of these options will be necessary if the FY2011-12 state budget protects higher education from further budget harm. Again, the only revenue option put forth is the extension of tax increases due to expire June 30, 2011.
Tax Extension Proposal
Although not required by statute, Governor Brown made a campaign promise that he would not increase taxes without voter approval. Time has expired for a planned effort to conduct an early June special election to gauge voter sentiment on tax extensions. A new proposal under discussion involves a legislative vote to temporarily approve the extensions with subsequent voter ratification to occur through a later special election. Governor Brown is actively seeking the support of two Republican senators and two Republican assembly members to reach the two-thirds threshold required in each house for such action.
As mentioned earlier, the threat of a devastating additional budget cut for FY 2011-12 remains and demands our immediate attention and action. In anticipation of this possibility, I have asked UBAC chairs Giambelluca and Strong to continue UBAC during the summer. Additionally, we must all advocate for a state budget compromise that protects higher education from further harm. The CSU and representatives from our campus continue to work with our elected officials to protect higher education and highlight our value to producing an educated populace, and workforce and economic development. Additionally, many smaller group advocacy activities are occurring in support of education throughout the state.
Important campus bulletins and CSU budget updates will be relayed to the campus via email and posted to the CSU Stanislaus “budget central” web site. The budget FAQ will be updated as new information becomes available, and I will communicate with you directly as more details are available on our FY2011-12 budget. (Web links to Budget Central and Budget FAQ: http://www.csustan.edu/Budget/ and http://www.csustan.edu/budget/faqs.html)
In conclusion, I continue to call upon all managers to carefully consider the impact of the budget cuts and changing work assignments on staff and faculty. I am confident that by acting out of mutual respect and concern we can find ways to support each other as we work through these complex transitions. Thank you for your participation in this vitally important process and for your continued dedication to CSU Stanislaus during this challenging time.
Hamid Shirvani, President
California State University, Stanislaus
One University Circle
Turlock, CA 95382