The California State University Employee Update
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Ruling Allows CSU to Offer “Self-supported” Summer Sessions
A ruling this week in a case heard in Superior Court in Alameda County will allow the California State University campuses to proceed to offer “self-supported” summer sessions rather than having to use limited state funds to provide the classes or eliminate the summer sessions.
Petitioners from Cal State East Bay, Los Angeles, San Marcos and Stanislaus sought to require the CSU to reinstate state-supported summer sessions which would have required the campuses to redirect funding from the regular academic year when the most students are enrolled. The plaintiffs asserted that self-supported summer classes "supplant" or replace classes that are offered in a state-supported session.
"We appreciate the court’s recognition that allowing the CSU to offer self-support summer classes is the best way to serve students during these times of severe budget cuts," said CSU General Counsel Christine Helwick. "Most of our campuses will provide courses on a self-support basis for those wishing to continue their studies during the summer."
Over the past two years, the CSU has had $625 million cut from its budget and has had to limit student enrollment and implement other measures to manage the budget reductions. Rather than cut enrollment for fall 2010 further, most CSU campuses plan to offer self-support summer sessions instead of using limited funds for a state-supported summer session. The elimination of state-supported summer and intersession courses, which have much lower enrollments than the regular academic term, was one of the most reasonable options campuses could implement to educate as many students as possible with fewer resources.
Most students will pay fees in the self-support sessions roughly equivalent to the state support level. A small number of summer school students who take more than 10 units will experience an increase, but the cost variances are minimal. In addition, financial aid awards are generally provided to CSU students on an annual basis and will be available for the self-supported summer session.
Governor’s Revised Budget Restores Cuts to the CSU
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s May Revision of the 2010-11 state budget continues his previous proposal to restore a $305 million one-time cut in the CSU’s current budget. The May Revision also continues to include an additional $60.6 million in funding for the CSU’s enrollment growth.
The governor unveiled his revised budget last week. The annual “May Revise” takes into account the state’s updated revenue projections and other fiscal forecasts since the governor’s initial release of the budget in January.
"Governor Schwarzenegger has made supporting higher education a priority and we appreciate the continued commitment of his administration," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "The return of these funds will allow us to restore and preserve student access at our 23 campuses across the state. By reinvesting in California’s public universities, we will all ultimately benefit from the creation of jobs which is vital to the state’s economic recovery and prosperity."
The CSU sustains more than 150,000 jobs in California and provides the majority of the workforce for the state’s most competitive industries, according to the university’s recently released economic impact study. The $305 million budget restoration would serve to backfill a "one-time" reduction to the CSU budget for 2009-2010 and would allow the university to serve 21,000 more students than it can serve under existing state funding levels, ultimately providing more professionals into the state’s workforce. The $60.6 million would fund the expansion of enrollment by more than 8,000 additional students systemwide.
In the governor’s original budget, the additional enrollment funding was contingent upon the state receiving a threshold amount in federal aid for other state programs. His revised May budget, however, removes that requirement.In addition, the governor's May budget revision includes the restoration of new competitive Cal Grant awards, which would benefit an estimated 1,600 CSU students and thousands of community college students who will ultimately transfer to the CSU.
Even with the additional proposed funding, however, the CSU’s level of state funded support is significantly below previous years. Since 2007-08, the CSU has seen a reduction of $625 million in state support and has implemented measures including enrollment cuts, student fee increases, employee furloughs and layoffs.
The governor’s funding proposals require approval by the legislature. The ultimate outcome of the CSU’s budget for 2010-11, therefore, is uncertain and may not be known for several months.