Chancellor's Letter to Students
September 2003

Dear CSU Students:
 
Welcome to a new academic year at the California State University, and thank you for choosing to be a part of our university system.
 
Over the past year, California's severe budget crisis has resulted in deep budget cuts for the CSU and other state-funded agencies and institutions. The 2003/04 budget approved by the Legislature and Governor Davis this summer will result in a net reduction to the CSU of $304 million after fee revenues are considered, an amount that comes to approximately 11 percent of the CSU's General Fund appropriation.
 
This situation presents a significant challenge for the CSU. We know that higher education is vital to California's economic prosperity, and that our state relies on the CSU to provide high-quality, accessible, student-focused higher education for its citizens. Yet these deep budget cuts, along with budget language stipulating that the CSU would not be funded for any enrollment growth for 2004/05, will for the first time put limits on the CSU's long-standing promise of providing unlimited educational opportunity.
 
As we work to manage these budget reductions, the campus presidents and I want to make sure that the CSU's promise of providing access to students remains meaningful, and that we preserve the value of your investment in higher education. For the near term, we are going to focus on ensuring that the students we enroll get the courses they need to graduate. For the long term, we will continue to work with the Legislature to create a consistent, predictable higher education funding plan and fee policy that will allow us to serve all qualified students in good economic times as well as bad.
 
We will call on you in the coming months to assist us in this effort by contacting your local legislators and letting them know how important your CSU education is to you. In the meantime, I invite you to learn more about these issues by visiting the CSU's "Budget Central" or the California Postsecondary Education Commission's "Student Fees Q & A".
 
Thank you again for choosing the California State University. I wish you a rewarding academic year ahead.
 
With kind regards,

Sincerely,
 

Charles B. Reed
Chancellor