Budget Central


Fiscal Year (FY) 2011-12 Budget Planning Information & Frequently Asked Questions

This document has been prepared for CSU Stanislaus faculty and staff to increase awareness and understanding of key aspects of the university's FY 2011-12 budget planning process, which will navigate the third consecutive year of significant state funding reductions. Interested individuals outside the campus community may also find the document to be a useful reference source. Feedback on this document may be directed via the CSU Stanislaus Budget Central web page, or by email to budgetsuggestionbox@csustan.edu.

Budget Overview

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What are the overall sources of funding for CSU Stanislaus?

Primary sources of funding for CSU Stanislaus include:

  • State of California general fund appropriations.
  • Student tuition fees.

Secondary sources of funding for CSU Stanislaus include:

  • Revenue generated from specific academic operations on campus conducted through University Extended Education (UEE).
  • Investment earnings. Such earnings are in the form of restricted monies that may only legally be directed to a contractually specified purpose. For example, if a donor established a scholarship endowment, a related written agreement would limit earnings from the endowment to scholarship related items. By law, CSU Stanislaus may not use these funds for other purposes.

To what major areas does CSU Stanislaus currently allocate its funding?

For fiscal year 2010-11, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Salaries and benefits, 78 percent.
  • Financial aid, 13 percent.
  • Operating expenditures (including utilities), 9 percent.

What does CSU Stanislaus budget for salaries and benefits by division?

For fiscal year 2010-11, the beginning fiscal year budget breakdown for salaries and benefits was as follows:

Division Salaries and Benefits
Academic Affairs $30,655,508
President's Office $656,108
Information Technology $2,619,747
Business & Finance $7,303,373
Student Affairs $4,110,438
Advancement $1,126,805
Work Study Student $690,876
University Wide* $1,556,816
Centralized Benefits $19,990,730
Total Salaries & Benefits $68,710,401

*Includes $1.2 Million in one-time stimulus finding allocated to Academic Affairs for additional classes in FY  2010-2011.

What is the state funding cut to the California State University (CSU) in fiscal year (FY) 2011-12? UPDATED July 18, 2011

A total of $650 million, with the possibility of an additional $100 million cut in the middle of the fiscal year if anticipated state revenues fail to meet specific targets. An evaluation of revenues is expected in January 2012 to determine whether the additional cut will be applied.

What is the state funding reduction to CSU Stanislaus for fiscal year (FY) 2011-12? UPDATED July 18, 2011

The permanent base budget reduction to CSU Stanislaus is $7,567,000. We will review the effects of recent fee increases on our budget and determine if additional reductions will be necessary.

Why is state funding to CSU Stanislaus being reduced?

The State of California is facing the worst fiscal problem in state history. California faces an estimated $20 billion budget shortfall for fiscal year (FY) 2011–12. In an effort to reduce this staggering shortfall, Governor Jerry Brown has proposed a state budget that reduces appropriations to many state-funded agencies, including the California State University (CSU) system. The $500 million reduction to the CSU translates into a proportional reduction in state support to CSU Stanislaus.

How much has state funding support to CSU Stanislaus been reduced since 2007? UPDATED July 18, 2011

CSU Stanislaus was allocated $63,110,030 in state funding for fiscal year (FY) 2007-08. The FY 2010-11 state funding allocation was $56,514,337, an overall reduction of $6,595,693 (10.5 percent). In addition, the FY 2011-12 budget cut of $7,567,000 further reduces the amount of state support to CSU Stanislaus, bringing the total cut since 2007 to $14,162,693 (22.4 percent).

Is there a possibility CSU Stanislaus may face an additional state funding reduction in fiscal year 2011-12? (In order words, what is the worst-case scenario)? UPDATED July 18, 2011

The State of California FY 2011-12 budget approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor incorporates a $650 million total cut to the California State University. However, the budget leaves open the possibility of additional cuts in the middle of the fiscal year, should state revenues fail to meet a predefined level. A mid-year cut would be very difficult for the CSU and its campuses to manage quickly.

The reduction of $650 million to the California State University (CSU) system is the best-case scenario, according to Governor Jerry Brown. The CSU (and, in turn, the CSU Stanislaus) budget reduction could increase, should certain revenue expectations on which the governor predicates a share of his budget fail to materialize. This would be the worst scenario.

Is the California State University system (CSU) or CSU Stanislaus responsible for the cuts to higher education funding?

No. The cuts in state support to higher education are directed by the governor and legislature, in an attempt to address California's budget deficit.

The Consultative and Transparent Planning Process

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When will the University Budget Advisory Committee (UBAC) meet again? UPDATED July 18, 2011

UBAC meetings will resume July 26, 2011. Please check the UBAC web page for the latest information. http://www.csustan.edu/bf/UBAC.html

What is the process to make budget decisions at CSU Stanislaus?

There is a two-track process of consultation and transparency: the University Budget Advisory Committee (please see the UBAC entry below), and direct meetings within divisions and colleges. The divisions and colleges work on potential budget reduction strategies concurrently with UBAC activities that focus on establishing overarching priorities. The vice presidents lead division discussions; the deans lead the college discussions. Later, the division and college leads meet with UBAC to discuss recommendations to the president.

What is the role of the University Budget Advisory Committee UBAC?

The University Budget Advisory Committee (UBAC) advises the president on broad policy and priority issues related to university budget resources.

UBAC reviews the campus budget within the context of the campus strategic plan and annual goals, considers specific budgetary issues as requested by the president, and organizes and holds open hearings to review the relationships among division budget requests, strategic priorities and specific annual goals and priorities.

Are UBAC meetings open for anyone to attend?

Yes. UBAC committee meetings are open to the public and members of the campus community. (Public comment is only accepted at specific meetings, but anyone may attend any meeting as a spectator). Notes and videos of UBAC meetings are published to the CSU Stanislaus "Budget Central" web site. UBAC meetings are scheduled on Fridays from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. through April 29, 2011. Additional meeting times may be announced. Please check the "Budget Central" web page for the latest information.

What specific consultation with faculty and staff will occur?

Vice presidents, deans and unit administrators have been given repeated instructions to consult extensively with departments, faculty and staff about budget reduction planning. UBAC is also consulting with appropriate stakeholders. Transparency and collegiality are important factors in working to creatively prepare the fiscal year 2011-12 budget in a manner that protects the mission of the university.

What is the FBAC?

The Faculty Budget Advisory Committee (FBAC) is a subcommittee of the CSU Stanislaus Academic Senate that advises senators on faculty perspectives of various budget considerations.

What is the role of the Campus Labor Council in budget planning?

The Labor Council does not have a direct charge to review budgetary plans. However, the council will have an opportunity to raise questions regarding budget reduction plans, the impact on employees, and union contract articles that cover the rights and responsibilities of all parties.

Will there be "across the board" cuts to all divisions and colleges?

No. However, drastic departures from proportional cuts are also not expected. Several overarching considerations will guide budget reduction and academic affairs activities:

  • To avoid future reductions in funding from the California State University (CSU) system, a high priority must be placed on maintaining an adequate and efficient academic schedule and sufficient operations to meet the CSU Stanislaus fall enrollment target of 6,715 full-time equivalent students (FTE).
  • CSU Stanislaus must maintain the quality of its overall academic enterprise.
  • CSU Stanislaus must sufficiently maintain its revenue-producing capability.

Why does budget planning appear to be starting with an assumption ofproportional cuts to all divisions and colleges?

Common practice is to start with a proportional allocation of cuts based on division or college budget as a percentage of the total CSU Stanislaus budget. Then, conversations ensue to identify complexities and impacts across colleges and divisions. The process ultimately yields budget reduction targets based on the priority of specific activities relative to the mission of the university, rather than the optimization of a division, college or unit.

Potential to Offset State Funding Reductions

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Will increases in tuition fees within the CSU help mitigate some of the losses in state funding support? UPDATED July 18, 2011

The CSU Board of Trustees voted July 12, 2011, to increase tuition fees 12 percent beginning in the fall. This increase is in addition to a 10 percent increase approved previously. The additional increase will help mitigate state funding reductions above the original $500M approved earlier this year (the additional $150M cut in the approved state budget). No mechanism has yet been discussed to address the possibility of additional cuts to the CSU in the middle of the 2011-12 fiscal year (see question and answer immediately above).

Can CSU Stanislaus use one-time savings to "bridge fund" or mitigate the impact of state funding reductions in fiscal year (FY) 2011-12?

CSU Stanislaus is mandated by both the CSU system and the State of California to identify base fund dollars to cover base budget cuts. Sound financial planning dictates that base dollars should fund ongoing programs and positions, while one-time savings or allocations should fund short-term programs and activities.

Can CSU Stanislaus use money from its foundation or "reserves" to offset reductions in state funding?

No. Most of the monies that some refer to as "reserves" are restricted or designated to specific uses (e.g., capital improvement projects, financial aid, housing, parking). Similarly, the bulk of funds held by an auxiliary such as the CSU Stanislaus Foundation are restricted by contract or agreement. Thus, these funds are not a university savings account available for costs such as faculty and staff salaries.

Can CSU Stanislaus cut additional "administration" to offset the reductions in state funding?

The term “administration” is often misleading because it lumps together a small number of managers and a much larger number of staff in academic affairs, enrollment and student affairs, business and finance, faculty affairs and human resources, university advancement and the president’s office.

Without administration, there would be no admissions, no transcripts or diplomas, no lab technicians, no counselors or disability services, no financial aid, no lights, no water, no computer services, no development officers to raise extra scholarship funds, no custodians or groundskeepers, no public and traffic safety, etc. Administrative activities are essential for attracting and retaining faculty, which is an activity clearly central to the student experience. Further, administrative staff help recruit faculty, support faculty in their departments, facilitate faculty grants and contracts, help faculty to secure grant funding, coordinate the faculty tenure process, provide support for technology, equipment and travel, and ensure the integrity and accreditation of our programs and process payroll, among other functions.

Can CSU Stanislaus do more to trim non-personnel costs to offset the reduction in state funding?

While the campus is attempting to identify every economy and efficiency possible, non-personnel costs represent a tiny part of the overall budget.  Moreover, non-personnel costs have been dramatically reduced to cover previous budgetary reductions. Non-personnel costs also include university wide expenditures such as utilities, insurance, and other mandatory costs that cannot be arbitrarily reduced.

Academic Affairs Topics

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How big an impact do academic program costs have on the CSU Stanislaus budget? Are other areas of the university doing their part to cut costs?

Academic programs comprise the bulk—more than 60 percent—of the CSU Stanislaus budget. Other cabinet-level budget areas have realized dramatic cost-savings through management initiatives: not retaining temporary employees, not hiring open positions, and steep reductions in travel and operating budgets.

What is the expected impact of the state funding reductions on students?

The budget planning effort is structured to place foremost consideration on preserving student services and maintaining the quality of CSU Stanislaus degree programs. However, as cumulative budget reductions have reached a very high level, students will be asked to pay for a larger share of the cost of their education. However, students may elect to increase the average number of credits taken per semester to mitigate increases to tuition fees by graduating sooner. Future reductions in state funding could limit the number of students who can be admitted to CSU Stanislaus.

What is the expected impact of the state funding reductions on faculty?

As with all other processes, the CSU Stanislaus academic community will be asked to critically consider the way courses are delivered to students. In particular, faculty must participate in a review of the course schedule with a focus on efficiencies that can be incorporated while still allowing the university to hit our enrollment target of 6,715 full time equivalent students (FTE). Faculty working with department chairs, deans, and the provost's office need to create as efficient a schedule as possible to achieve the academic mission and the FTE target.

Has CSU Stanislaus considered closing a college?

As a result of the last budget process, the University Budget Advisory Committee (UBAC) recommended that a campus committee consider whether changing the number and organization of colleges is advisable from an academic and financial perspective. Subsequently, the provost commissioned a committee to review the current academic structure and make recommendations. The committee is still conducting its assessment.

Could the self-supporting summer session negatively impact the ability of CSU Stanislaus to meet its state-supported enrollment target?

As long as enrollment is managed properly, no. The enrollment management process must identify the appropriate student headcount and mix of upper division and lower division students to meet the summer and fall and spring targets.

Will the campus enrollment targets be lowered due to state funding reductions?

As of April 5, 2011, there is no indication of any reduction in enrollment targets.

Why is CSU Stanislaus attempting to attract more students?

Enrollment growth can help the university increase its budget and better mitigate state funding reductions. In addition, if our enrollment drops below the target set by the CSU we risk further loss of funding. Our ability to offer more self-support and non-degree programs, and to attract a larger number of non-resident students, will enable the University to generate additional revenue that can be used to support necessary course offerings that students need.

Staffing Topics

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Has the number of management employees at CSU Stanislaus increased since 2007?

No. In fact, management personnel program (MPP) employees have decreased from 82 in 2007 to 71 as of January 2011.

Will there be staff reductions? UPDATED July 18, 2011

Some reduction in staffing is required to accommodate all of the cuts. Eight employees will be laid off, and four others will receive a time-base reduction.

The fiscal situation is serious and challenging. As of April 5, 2011, CSU Stanislaus is in the planning phase of our fiscal year (FY) 2011-12 budget activities. The campus community is focused on making adjustments and decisions that will preserve and protect the academic mission of the university. The magnitude of the FY 2011-12 budget reductions are so serious that it is likely additional reductions in personnel costs will be required. Additional details will be known after division managers review their operations and make recommendations on how best to meet the budget reduction targets within their units. All employee categories will be impacted based on the magnitude of these reductions.

What policies cover decision making for deciding on layoffs?

Faculty and classified staff belong to organized bargaining units that have formal agreements with the California State University (CSU) system. Any actions, including layoffs for those individuals will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the existing agreements. Non-represented employees are covered by CSU policies.

Who will make the final decisions regarding budget cuts?

UBAC will make recommendations to the president. The president will then consult with various constituent groups and senior administration. Following that consultation, the president will make the final decision concerning implementation of the budget reductions.

Is performance a factor in deciding on layoffs?

No. Any layoffs resulting from these budget reductions will be done in accordance with union contract requirements.

Are any faculty subject to layoff?


What criteria were used to determine which employees will be subject to layoff or reassignment? UPDATED July 18, 2011

Vice presidents and deans were asked to review all operations and develop plans to achieve the targeted reduction. Each area determined which positions were subject to layoff or reassignment based on the operational needs of the unit.

Why were layoffs not announced until July 18, 2011, even though budget reductions took effect July 1? UPDATED July 18, 2011

In consultation with the chancellor's office and the affected departments, CSU Stanislaus human resources has been working to place the affected employees prior to layoffs.

Since CSU Stanislaus began receiving less state funding effective July 1, 2011, how can the university afford to pay laid-off employees during their end-of-employment notice period? UPDATED July 18, 2011

The costs of contractual notice periods are included in the consideration for achieving the required overall budget reduction.

Was the FY2011-12 budget cut applied proportionally to all divisions and colleges? If no, what criteria guided the application of cuts and what was the final outcome for the individual colleges and divisions? UPDATED July 18, 2011

For the most part, the cuts were proportional to the college or division's overall percentage of the total university budget. Some minor variations occurred to maintain critical functionality and based on the severity of previous cuts.

How can CSU Stanislaus be hiring and be planning for staff reductions at the same time?

Situations exist where the university needs to hire individuals with specific skills and experience to perform critical tasks even while the campus is considering the potential for reducing the workforce in other areas.

Will staff workload increase because fewer people are available to do the work?

Overall, the magnitude of these cuts and the limited ability of the university to mitigate them means that all supervisors will be asked to review job descriptions and assignments with their employees and to assign priorities to what can be accomplished within the employees’ respective job classifications.

The challenge will be for everyone at CSU Stanislaus is to rethink processes and determine if work can be accomplished in different ways. The campus community has always been resourceful and the hope is that new and innovative ways to serve our students and the public can result, even in the face of devastating cuts.

How could temporary employees be affected by layoffs necessitated by state funding reductions?

If layoffs are required, each union contract will define the order of layoffs and subsequent personnel impacts.

How much notice would any employees subject to layoff receive?

Each union contract defines the notice period in case of layoff. Please see the applicable contract to determine the notice period for a specific employment category.

Are furloughs, straight salary cuts or benefits reductions possible?

Such considerations would be part of ongoing budget discussions at the state and California State University (CSU) system level. CSU Stanislaus has not received any specific instructions from the CSU at this time.

Could a 10/12 schedule be implemented at CSU Stanislaus?

Some CSU Stanislaus employees are already working a 10/12 schedule. There may be areas throughout the campus where such a schedule (or another schedule configuration) is an appropriate consideration.

Staying Informed and Sharing Your Opinion

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How will I be informed regarding CSU Stanislaus budget matters and potential budget reductions?

The CSU Stanislaus administration will continue to communicate through a variety of methods in an effort to keep the campus community as informed as possible. For example, President Shirvani continues to provide regular email updates from the CSU Chancellor’s Office and other sources that describe events and topics affecting the CSU Stanislaus budget. The president also continues to hold regular “open forums” to discuss the budget situation with the campus community.  The University Budget Advisory Committee (UBAC) provides information to the campus through its open meetings (and web-based video files of the meetings) and through open forums to discuss proposed budgetary reductions.  Finally, the CSU and CSU Stanislaus web sites maintain historical data and post late-breaking budget information and links.  Managers have been asked to keep employees informed to the extent possible on the potential impact of the budget cuts as the process unfolds.

Can I make recommendations about improvements and ways to save money?

Absolutely. CSU Stanislaus administrators and UBAC welcome suggestions for improving operations and reducing costs. Please submit questions via the CSU Stanislaus Budget Central web page, by email to budgetsuggestionbox@csustan.edu, to members of UBAC, as well as supervisors and department managers.

Updated: 07/18/2011
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