Budget Central

May Budget Revision Avoids Direct Cuts to the CSU, but Includes Larger Trigger Cut

The CSU will receive an essentially flat budget in 2012-13 but faces an additional $250 million cut in November if voters reject Gov. Jerry Brown's tax measure.

If the taxes are voted down, the CSU's state funding will be reduced to $1.8 billion, the lowest amount the university has received in 17 years, yet the CSU is serving 90,000 more students.

The governor's January budget proposed flat funding for the CSU and a $200 million trigger cut if the tax measure was not approved by voters. The May Revise increases the potential reduction to $250 million as the governor attempts to cover a state deficit that has grown to nearly $16 billion from $9.2 billion.

If the additional cut is triggered, it will represent an almost 39 percent reduction in state funding for the CSU since support peaked in fiscal year 2007-08.

The CSU's cost-saving measures and student tuition fee increases have not filled the budget hole. The trustees requested a comprehensive report of possible cost-cutting and revenue enhancement options, and at their meeting last week they were presented a wide-ranging list that included: creating shared services centers; reducing enrollment; making more expensive courses independent of state support; closing a CSU campus; increasing class sizes; instituting changes in employee/employer health care premiums; reducing personnel costs; and increasing fees for extra course units, as well as for super seniors, graduate students and nonresidents. Their discussion of the options revealed that some of them have limited potential or are not feasible, and a more refined list is expected to be presented at a future meeting.

For the fall 2013 term, the CSU will waitlist all students applying for admission pending the approval or rejection of the November tax measure with a rejection and the subsequent $250 million budget cut leading to possible further enrollment reductions. For the spring 2013 term, the CSU will reduce enrollment to match available funding and the admission of new students for that term will be limited to those who have received an associate degree for transfer from a California community college. More information.