Chancellor

The California State University Employee Update
Wednesday, May 30, 2012


CSU Community Discusses Options to Deal with Budget Cuts

A wide array of cost-reduction and revenue-enhancement strategies to mitigate the CSU's budget reductions were discussed last week by the Systemwide Budget Advisory Committee and members of the CSU community in a meeting that was webcast to the campuses.

The CSU is facing an additional $250 million cut to its budget in November if voters reject Gov. Jerry Brown's tax measure. The $250 million compounds an ongoing structural deficit from prior state budget cuts and if enacted, would reduce the CSU's state funding to $1.8 billion—the lowest amount in 17 years—but the CSU is serving 90,000 more students.

Everything is on the table for consideration—even furloughs—given the magnitude of the situation, said CSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Benjamin F. Quillian. He pointed out that when the CSU implemented furloughs in 2009-10, it reduced expenditures by $270 million, but required considerable time to implement and slowed productivity.

Other cost-reduction strategies discussed included: consolidation of services to optimize costs—an option that is already being considered for accounts receivable, procurement and other areas; discontinuing certain academic programs; larger class sizes; and reducing the number of faculty sabbaticals, which would help cut the $12.5 million expended annually to replace faculty on sabbatical leave.

In addition, roughly 85 percent of the CSU's budget is devoted to personnel costs. Changing the employer/employee share of health care premiums to an 80/20 split would yield an annual cost reduction of $70 million, and reductions in pay by 1 percent could yield the CSU another $28 million annually. However, these options would require negotiations with labor unions and additional considerations, such as the fact that most CSU employees have not received a raise in several years.

It was also noted that raising tuition fees would yield approximately $15 million for every one percent change.

Not all options discussed are feasible, such as closing a CSU campus or charging a higher tuition for certain campuses and/or programs, which involve legislative consideration and lengthy implementation times. Others, such as specialization of campuses, challenge the CSU's mission of accessibility.

Revenue enhancement strategies included charging more for students taking more than 16 units, adding fees for "super seniors" and multiple class repeats, and increasing master's level tuition fees and nonresident tuition fees. Additional possibilities raised were an "ability to pay" tuition structure, corporate partnerships that provide tuition funding for future company employees, and consolidating campus colleges and departments.

A second forum for members of the CSU community is being planned for June. More information.

New President Named at Maritime Academy

The California State University Board of Trustees has named Thomas A. Cropper, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy, as president of California Maritime Academy. Cropper will succeed retiring President William B. Eisenhardt, who has been president since 2001.

For the past two years, Cropper has directed education and at-sea training for ships and aviation squadrons deploying to the western Pacific and the Middle East. From 2008 to 2010, Cropper led and managed 24,000 people in combat operations as the deputy commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet in Bahrain. He also served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategy Working Group at the Pentagon where he headed a select senior officer team working with representatives of each U.S. armed forces chief, the Joint Staff, the State Department and agencies within the cabinet.

From 2005 to 2007, Cropper served as chief of staff for the U.S. Third Fleet, where he led a staff of 300 and coordinated the simultaneous training and education of eight naval battle groups. Prior to that assignment he commanded Carrier Air Wing Eleven aboard the USS Nimitz. Cropper has served in a variety of roles throughout his Navy career including director of plans, programs and tactics at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, Federal Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institution, military assistant in the Office of Secretary of Defense William Cohen and commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron Eighty Three.

Cropper earned a bachelor's degree in Engineering Operations from Iowa State, and three master's degrees in Aviation Systems (University of Tennessee), National Security and Strategic Studies (U.S. Naval War College) and World Politics (Catholic University). He is expected to begin July 1 following retirement from active duty.

Interim President Appointed at Monterey Bay

Dr. Eduardo M. Ochoa, U.S. assistant secretary for postsecondary education, has been named as interim president of California State University, Monterey Bay. Ochoa will succeed Dianne Harrison, who will become president of CSU Northridge on June 11.

Ochoa is returning to the CSU after serving since 2010 in the Obama Administration as the secretary's chief advisor on higher education issues, administering more than 60 programs, and overseeing financial aid policy and accreditation. Prior to joining the administration, Ochoa served for seven years as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Sonoma State University.

A native of Buenos Aires, Ochoa attended bilingual schools in the Argentinian capital until his sophomore year in high school before immigrating with his family to Portland, Oregon. Ochoa earned his bachelor's degree in physics from Reed College, a master's degree in nuclear science and engineering from Columbia University, and a PhD in economics from the New School for Social Research.

Ochoa taught at Fresno State as well as at California State University, Los Angeles, where he was a full professor and chair of the economics and statistics department. He also led the university's Bureau of Business and Economic Research, and served as acting dean of its School of Business and Economics. Ochoa also served as dean of Cal Poly Pomona's College of Business Administration for six years.

He will begin his new position July 16.