Response to Governor’s Budget Recommendations


RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) finds that the Governor’s proposed budget (January 2008) for the State of California would produce serious negative implications for the CSU; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Governor be made aware that his budget proposal would deny student access and threaten the quality of education provided as well as delay graduation due to the anticipated reduction in course offerings; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU note that the CSU still has not recovered from the more than 500 million dollars in budget reductions from past years; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU remind the Governor that the CSU has served an extraordinary number of students who would not otherwise have been served largely through additional uncompensated work by faculty; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU find that existing research indicates that investment in higher education is advantageous to the public good for both civic and economic reasons where every dollar invested produced four dollars for the California economy; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU endorse the need for the CSU to remain accessible to displaced or unemployed individuals who are seeking to upgrade their marketability through obtaining a college degree; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU hold that a unified message regarding these implications ought to be delivered to the Governor and the legislature by the CSU coalition representing the Board of Trustees (BOT), CSU System Office, the leadership on the 23 campuses, the ASCSU, California Student Association (CSSA), the California Faculty Association (CFA), and other bargaining agents; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU request the Governor and Legislature to restore the unallocated reduction to the budget of the CSU that appears in the Governor’s January Budget Proposal; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU urge the BOT and the Chancellor to work with the Governor and Legislature to effect that restoration; and be it further

RESOLVED: That this resolution be sent to the Governor, the Legislature, BOT, campus senate chairs, campus presidents, CSSA, CFA, and Alumni Council.

RATIONALE: Since the Donahoe Act of 1960, the state of California has taken pride in seeking two goals in public higher education that are commonly summarized as "quality" and "access." Both of these goals have been enshrined in California code: "It is the intent of the Legislature that the segments of higher education recognize that quality teaching is the core ingredient of the undergraduate educational experience" (66050). The CSU's success in achieving these goals, in turn, has traditionally been dependent upon the state's willingness to provide the necessary resources, a commitment it also makes explicit in code "The State of California reaffirms its historic commitment to ensure adequate resources to support enrollment growth" (66202.5).

Unfortunately, the resources provided by the state in recent years have dramatically undercut the ability of the CSU to achieve both of these goals in even rudimentary form. Shortfalls in funding during this period have been "paid for" by reductions in quality, as outlined in the report The California State University at the Beginning of the 21st Century. The CSU has reached the point where additional reductions to the quality of the education it provides are intolerable. To quote a former CSU administrator, "access without quality is not access."

Because the admissions calendar does not correspond to the state budget calendar, the CSU admits students for an academic year prior to receiving the budget that is required to pay for that academic year. In years when the state fails to meet its legislative commitment to support enrollment growth, the CSU must still accept and educate those students who have already been admitted. In the past, the CSU has done so by accepting an on-going deterioration in the quality of the education it has provided; as evidenced by:

  • Escalating student-faculty ratios
  • Increasingly inadequate technology and staffing to support instruction
  • Declining purchasing power for library collections
  • Non-competitive salaries combined with California's high cost of living, diminishing our ability to recruit the best faculty from a national pool
  • Expanded reliance on temporary faculty rather than permanent faculty, leading to a concomitant increase in permanent faculty service loads, and resulting in a declining capacity to mentor and advise students
  • An increase in permanent faculty service loads (need to implement a plan responding to ACR 73 as legislated)
  • A declining capacity to mentor and advise students
  • A continued accumulation of delayed maintenance

The CSU has reached the point when reducing admissions has become the lesser of the evils. Cuts in quality must not be the sole mechanism for surviving difficult budgets, for quality will reach a level at which access itself becomes meaningless, prompting the question "access to what?" To maintain an acceptable level of quality, it is necessary for the CSU to limit enrollment to the number of students for which we have sufficient resources. Growth in enrollment during a time of diminished resources ultimately serves no one. In order to implement this necessary but unpleasant measure, the Board must be prepared to reduce the number of students admitted to correspond to any shortfall in state provided enrollment growth funds for the previous year.
Additional information regarding these issues is covered in ASCSU resolutions: AS 2812-07; AS-2796-07; AS 2749-06; AS 2772-06; AS 2694-05; AS 2654-04; AS-2612-03; AS-2563-01; AS 2449-99; AS-2418-98; AS-2367-97; AS-2317-96; AS-2258-95.

Approved Unanimously January 17-18, 2008

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