Chancellor's Communication-February 6, 2001

DATE:     February 6, 2001
TO:         All CSU Employees
FROM:     CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed
RE:         CSU Update
Greetings to all California State University faculty and staff members. This e-mail is the latest in a series of messages aimed at keeping CSU employees up to date on systemwide issues. I wanted to take this opportunity to share some news about recent developments at the CSU and offer resources for more information:
CSU BUDGET: Gov. Davis has once again shown strong support for the CSU by proposing a $267.9 million increase in our 2001/02 general fund budget. Highlights from the budget proposal include $62.3 million for an additional 8,760 full-time equivalent students projected to enroll in 2001/2002 and $81.5 million for a 4 percent compensation pool for all CSU employees.
The CSU will continue to work with the state over the next few months to fund certain items that were included in our request but not in Gov. Davis's budget, including $40.8 million for an additional 2 percent for CSU employee compensation and $5 million to help create a CSU employee housing assistance program. (Many of you who joined the CSU in the past few years will be receiving a web-based housing survey later this month. This survey will help us better assess what form such a program should take.) For more information about the budget, please go to:
FACULTY COMPENSATION: The CSU and the California Faculty Association (CFA) have been engaged in reopener bargaining since last February. The primary purpose of the reopener bargaining was to determine the amount of the increase pool. After the release of a fact-finding report last month, the CSU and CFA exhausted all phases of this collective bargaining process. Meetings continued until January 22 in an attempt to address a number of procedural and process concerns. The CSU discussed a variety of improvements to the merit pay program and other compensation and benefit issues, but we failed to reach agreement on those issues. I am disappointed that we failed to reach agreement.
The Board of Trustees and I feel that our faculty have waited far too long to receive their well-deserved salary increases (which we are not permitted to distribute until the bargaining process has concluded). On January 24, we began the process of instituting the salary increases required under the current faculty contract. Paychecks that include salary increases retroactive to July 1, 2000 will be distributed as early as March. Given that the timing may vary from campus to campus, I am asking our campus human resources departments to give you more specific information.
When the CSU and CFA begin bargaining on a new contract in March or April, we will continue to discuss improving the merit pay process. In the meantime, I will work to secure the additional two percent for employee compensation to bring our 2001/2002 compensation increase pool to six percent. Once again, improving compensation for our faculty and staff continues to be among my top priorities.
REMEDIAL EDUCATION: Last month, the CSU released its latest remedial education statistics. These new numbers show that the percentage of incoming CSU freshmen who are proficient in English and mathematics has improved for the last three years. In fall 2000, proficiency rates reached 55 percent in mathematics and 54 percent in English. The numbers also show that students are completing remedial education in a timely fashion. Of the fall 1999 freshmen who returned in fall 2000, 97 percent were fully proficient.
Even though we still have much more work to do, these numbers demonstrate that our efforts to reduce the need for remedial education are succeeding, especially in mathematics. I want to thank all of the faculty and staff members who assisted these students and helped them reach the one-year completion goal for remedial education. We will continue to assist K-12 schools, students, and teachers by providing clear guidance on our standards and early assessment opportunities. For more information and statistics on this important issue, please see:
ALCOHOL AWARENESS: In the wake of the tragic alcohol-related death of one of our students last fall, the CSU has formed an Alcohol Policies and Prevention Programs Committee to study the issue of alcohol abuse on campus. The committee, chaired by Fresno State President John Welty, includes CSU presidents, students, and faculty and staff representatives.
The committee is currently developing recommendations for standards and guidelines on how to best curb alcohol abuse on our campuses. It will present these recommendations to the Board of Trustees in May. Through the committee's efforts, the CSU also will co-sponsor the National Social Norming Conference in July. A "social norms" approach aims to help students understand that responsible drinking is more the norm than excessive drinking.
As always, I invite you to respond to this e-mail with your comments or questions. Due to the large volume of e-mails, I will not be able to respond to your messages individually. I will post responses to the most frequently asked questions (from among those received by February 13) at /Executive/index.shtml on February 20. If you have campus-specific questions, please address them to the appropriate department head or administrator or to your campus president.
Thank you again for all you do to make the California State University an outstanding institution.

last updated 6 February 2001