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Chancellor

The California State University Employee Update
Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Applications to CSU Surge in First 13 Days
The California State University received almost double the number of applications from prospective students in the first 13 days of the application period this year over last. More than 100,000 students submitted their applications through the system's website csumentor.edu between Oct. 1 and 13 as compared to 48,858 for the same time last year.

The CSU's application period for first-time freshmen and community college transfers began Oct. 1 and runs through Nov. 30. The CSU will announce in early December which campuses and programs will remain open after Nov. 30.

The largest increase in applications came from community college students with more than 41,000 applying for upper-division transfer to a CSU, a three-fold increase from last year. Applications for prospective first-time freshmen increased by nearly 50 percent.

All 23 campuses will remain open for applications through Nov. 30 but at least 12 campuses will stop accepting applications from first-time freshmen and, in some cases, from community college transfers after that date. The CSU has undertaken a communications effort that includes a video on YouTube and outreach to schools and to the student media and general media to encourage students to submit their applications early to avoid missing the closing date of campuses or programs.

CSU Neutral on Oil Severance Tax Bill
State Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico will be at several CSU campuses this week to garner support for Assembly Bill 656, the "California Higher Education Endowment Corporation: Oil and Gas Severance Tax". The measure would institute a new 9.9 percent oil and gas severance tax on any oil or gas producer in California with the revenues dedicated to California's three public higher education segments (CSU, the University of California and the California Community Colleges). The revenues generated by the tax would be allocated by a newly created board and without appropriation or oversight by the state.

The CSU has no official position on the bill. The CSU believes the legislation is well intended but feels it does not solve higher education's funding needs as it would not generate enough money to bring state funding support for the CSU back to where it was two years ago, nor would it fund future enrollment growth or meet other increased needs. In addition, with oil production in steady decline in California, it does not provide a stable funding source for the future.

The bill is in the early phases. It will be considered again in January and heard next in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation committee.

Legislative Update
The Governor has taken action on the more than 700 bills sent to him by the legislature including several key measures that were important to the CSU. Here is an update:

The governor vetoed:

  • SB 218 (Yee): Public records: state agency: auxiliary organizations: The bill would have subjected the CSU's independent auxiliaries to the California Public Records Act (CPRA) significantly increasing costs to its auxiliary organizations while reducing non-state revenues to students. The governor stated in a letter to the legislature, "Subjecting the altruistic activities of private donors and volunteers to the CPRA will have a chilling effect on their support and service if they believe their personal privacy could be compromised." The governor added that enacting the bill would result in a loss of private donations at a time when the CSU is facing significant reductions in state funding.
  • SB 86 (Yee): Public postsecondary education: executive officer compensation: The bill would have prohibited the trustees from increasing the monetary compensation or approving a monetary bonus for any CSU employee (that is not part of a union) in any fiscal year in which the General Fund appropriation in the annual Budget Act is less than, or equal to, the General Fund appropriation to the CSU in the annual Budget Act for the immediately preceding fiscal year. In his veto letter, the governor stated, "A blanket prohibition limiting the flexibility for the UC and CSU to compete both nationally and internationally in attracting and retaining high level personnel does a disservice to those students seeking the kind of quality education that our higher education segments offer. The Regents and the Trustees should be prudent in managing their systems, given the difficult fiscal crisis we face as a state, but it is unnecessary for the State to micromanage their operations."
  • AB 690 (Ammiano): CSU Trustees and UC Regents: meetings: The measure would have authorized each ex officio trustee, except the Chancellor, to designate a person to attend a meeting or meetings of the trustees in his or her absence. The bill would have prohibited an ex officio trustee from designating more than one person to attend meetings of the trustees in any calendar year. In vetoing the bill, the governor said, "…ex officio members serve by virtue of their experience and qualifications in sharing their perspective on issues impacting higher education. Allowing these members to appoint a substitute to attend in their absence creates a disincentive for the member to actually attend the meetings, and diminishes the value of an ex-officio member's contribution to the public discourse."
  • AB 1222 (Lowenthal) Alumni Affinity Sunset Extension: The bill would have ensured that California public institutions were able to continue their efforts to increase non-state resources for programs and student scholarships through services to recent graduates and alumni association members known as affinity programs. The measure would have extended the current sunset from January 2011 to January 2016.

    The veto message that was provided for this bill said that it was premature because it did not expire until 2011.The CSU will pursue the bill extension again next year and since the bill had no opposition during the past session, the CSU does not anticipate difficulty passing it next year.

The governor signed:

  • SB 147 (DeSaulnier) CSU: Career Technical Education Courses: The bill will bifurcate the current standards for admission to CSU and UC. It requires the CSU to adopt its own standards for admission for career technical education (CTE) courses, based on model curriculum standards adopted by the CSU's Academic Senate last year. Additionally it will require the CSU to duplicate the University of California's approval process for the CSU-only "g" general elective category. CSU estimates it will cost more than $450,000 to initially develop new CTE standards that would meet admissions requirements and $230,000 annually thereafter to review and approve courses.

More information on the bills is available on the Advocacy and State Relations website.

Campuses Keeping Close Watch on Flu
The CSU's campuses and the Chancellor's Office are monitoring the H1N1 swine flu and have emergency operations plans in place that include preparing for and responding to pandemic influenza situations. Each campus is also working in coordination with their local health agencies to report any suspected cases.

New resources are available on the federal government's flu website, FLU.gov, including an H1N1 Flu Self-Evaluation Guide for adults 18 and older and a new Flu Myths and Facts section. The website also includes a list of 10 Ways You Can Stay Healthy at Work.

Anyone who suspects they have the flu is advised to see their health care provider.