Systemwide Impaction, Enrollment Management
and the 2009-2010
Budget Environment



RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (CSU) reaffirm its commitment to assisting the CSU in carrying out its mission, as defined by the California Master Plan for Higher Education (Donahoe Act, 1960) and Title 5, to wit: making higher education accessible to the people of California; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU maintain that access must be authentic access, meaning that eligible students be admitted to CSU campuses that have the resources to provide the quality programs and facilities to which students are entitled; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU recognize that the 2009-2010 state budget environment suggests that the Legislature is unlikely to provide the CSU the resources necessary to fund fully the anticipated 2009-2010 enrollment demand; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees, in order to preserve quality and authentic access, to take whatever steps necessary, up to and including a declaration of systemwide impaction, to align actual enrollment with the funded enrollment; and be it further

RESOLVED: That this resolution be distributed to the Board of Trustees, and campus presidents.

RATIONALE: The CSU is committed to, and takes pride in, its mission of providing access to quality higher education for the people of California.  For the CSU, such access must be authentic access, which means that students are to be admitted to campuses that possess sufficient resources to offer the high quality facilities and academic programs to which they are entitled.  In the words of a former CSU administrator, “Access without quality is not access.”

The CSU’s ability to achieve these goals is dependent upon the state’s willingness to provide the resources necessary for it to do so.  Key to this has been the state’s commitment to fully fund enrollment growth in the CSU, a commitment that has been enshrined in California code: “The State of California reaffirms its historic commitment to ensure adequate resources to support enrollment growth” (66202.5). Unfortunately, since the early 1990s vagaries in the state’s fiscal environment have meant that funding for the CSU has been erratic and for much of this period, student enrollment has not been fully funded.  Shortfalls in funding have been “paid for” by gradual erosions in quality, as identified in the report The California State University at the Beginning of the 21st Century.  As a result of budget shortfalls in recent years, the CSU has reached the point where further reductions in the quality of the education it offers are intolerable.

Current CSU enrollments are not fully funded by the State of California.  The University has currently enrolled approximately 10,000 students above the level for which it receives state support.  The legislature’s 2008-2009 budget does not provide the CSU with funding for enrollment beyond that which it received for the previous year, 2007-2008.  The state’s current fiscal situation makes it now almost certain that funding for 2009-2010 will at best remain at the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 levels, despite ever-increasing enrollment demand.

In order to prevent a further deterioration in the quality of the educational experience offered CSU students, it is important that the University manage its enrollment to ensure that it does not exceed the levels for which it is funded.  This is consistent with the position taken by the Academic Senate of the California State University under similar budgetary circumstances in the past (AS-2612-03).  The Chancellor and the Board of Trustees are urged to take whatever actions are necessary, including a declaration of system-wide impaction, to achieve this end.   A declaration of impaction allows programs, campuses, or the system as a whole to use additional admission criteria beyond the regular admission requirements for the CSU.  This will provide the CSU with additional tools for managing enrollment to levels consistent with that for which it is funded.


Approved November 13, 2008

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