Trustees to Grapple with
Ongoing Budget Challenges
The CSU's need to address a proposed additional $200 million cut to its budget will be discussed by the Board of Trustees at its meeting in Long Beach next week.
Rather than restoring funding to the CSU, Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed 2012-13 state budget calls for the same level of state support as this year, provided that voters pass a November tax initiative. If that measure fails, the CSU could face an additional $200 million cut which would drop the university's level of state support to $1.8 billion--the lowest level since 1996-97--but the CSU is now serving 90,000 more students.
The CSU has an ongoing $510 million budget deficit, the result of state funding reductions combined with mandatory cost increases. Despite implementing comprehensive strategies to improve efficiencies and reduce costs throughout the enterprise, the additional $200 million cut will significantly impact the CSU's ability to serve students at current levels.
The CSU currently has a $510 million budget shortfall, the result of state funding reductions and mandatory cost increases. The deficit exceeds replacement revenues from student tuition fee increases. The CSU has implemented cost cutting measures and has increased efficiencies but these measures cannot close the gap.
The CSU has decreased faculty and staff by more than 3,000 or 6.6 percent of its workforce over the past four years. In addition, class sizes have increased, faculty have been asked to teach more, and administrative functions have been consolidated.
But university officials warned these measures may not be enough. "We must consider other drastic options if our budget is cut again," said Assistant Vice Chancellor for Budget Robert Turnage. "Those would include reducing enrollment 20,000 to 25,000 students, cutting the number of classes that are offered, and further reductions in the size of the CSU's workforce. By the 2013-14 academic year, these reductions could involve another 2,500 to 3,000 faculty and staff. These are terrible choices, and we will need to start making many decisions before we know the outcome of the election."
The CSU plans to cut enrollment for 2013-2014 by closing most of its campuses for spring admissions. Eight CSU campuses will take applications only for community college transfer students who complete the Associate Degree for Transfer, which was made possible through recent legislation (Senate Bill 1440).
In addition, the CSU plans to wait-list all eligible students applying for fall 2013 until after the November 6 election when the outcome of the governor's tax measure is known. Limits will be set on the number of courses students can take to ensure that enrolled students have fair access to the limited supply of courses. Students will be able to take 15 to 17 credits each term, depending on the types of courses, and exceptions will be allowed for graduating seniors.
The board asked the chancellor to examine alternatives for balancing the budget and to return in May for a wide-ranging consideration of all options.