2006/07 Support Budget

Chancellor's Message

Chancellor Charles ReedThe California State University was founded more than four decades ago with a mission to provide access to a quality higher education to California’s students. Since then it has grown into the country’s largest, most diverse, and most affordable four-year public university system, with approximately 400,000 students, more than 53 percent of whom are minority, and some of the lowest student fees in the country. The CSU also stands head and shoulders above all of the other universities in California when it comes to preparing students to enter the workforce, graduating nearly 82,000 students each year into California’s workforce—including the majority of the skilled workers in California’s critical industries such as agriculture, engineering, business, technology, media, and computer science.

The CSU is not only a driving force behind California’s economic development; it is vital to California’s economic prosperity. A recent study by an independent consulting firm found that CSU-related expenditures create over $13 billion in economic impact and support over 207,000 jobs in California. When the higher earnings of our graduates are taken into account, the CSU’s impact reaches $53 billion, supporting approximately 527,000 jobs in the state.

In addition, California reaps more than a four-fold benefit from every dollar the state invests in the CSU. Clearly, an investment in the California State University is an investment in California.

Looking forward over the next several years, the CSU is presented with an outstanding opportunity to create new pathways of educational services for California residents and to confront several challenges to its progress on fundamental academic and financial benchmarks.

The 2004 compact agreement with the governor will allow the CSU to offset short-term variations in the state’s fiscal condition with a long-term commitment to accomplish several key priorities:

  • Proactive planning for enrollments that are conservatively estimated to grow by roughly 44,000 full-time students over the next five years.

  • A five-year growth plan to increase the number of newly credentialed math and science teachers for California.

  • Comprehensive strategies to recruit and prepare new students in special education credential programs, and to support the development of university faculty who will train special education teachers for California.

  • Initiatives to increase the number of basic/clinical nursing program graduates within existing programs by expanding pre-licensure and master’s degree nursing education offered at 14 campuses, and to increase the capacity of the CSU to attract, serve, and graduate more baccalaureate-prepared nursing candidates.

  • An internal call from the Board of Trustees and CSU executive management to improve the salaries of employees for market parity and competitiveness in a national marketplace.

  • A continuing commitment to increase financial assistance to cover the cost of fee rate increases for students with need.
Most importantly, the governor’s compact allows predictable and stable funding over a multiyear period, which enables the CSU to implement a comprehensive graduation initiative aimed at helping more students complete degrees and preserving access for as many students as possible. As a part of this initiative, the university is developing campus roadmaps to graduation for each undergraduate degree program and has established lower division course patterns for each undergraduate degree major for transfer students. These actions—combined with the CSU’s initiatives to improve the academic preparation of K-12 students through its Early Assessment Program and our effort to help ensure alignment with community colleges through the Lower Division Transfer Program—have the potential to substantially improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the university in performing its core mission, and to ensure that the opportunity of higher education is available to all Californians.

Included in the 2006/07 budget plan are recommendations for $236 million in new spending. After covering cost increases of $34 million for nondiscretionary expenses such as full-year collective bargaining compensation costs, health benefits, new facility space, and purchased utilities (electricity, gas, and water), $192 million of new resources will be used to address employee compensation increases, enrollment growth, and student financial aid. A small portion of new revenue ($10 million) will be used to continue the CSU’s efforts to reduce structural backlogs in library volumes, tackle deferred maintenance projects, and build infrastructure needed to complete long-range technology initiatives.

These funding priorities were formed with an eye toward the long-range goals and needs of the university, and in consultation with the members of the Board of Trustees, campus presidents, representatives of the CSU Academic Senate,members of the System Budget Advisory Committee (which includes student, faculty, staff, alumni, and administrative representatives), and the chief administrative and academic officers of the CSU.

Last, but not least,we have opened our doors to students displaced by the catastrophic aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita along the Gulf Coast. We are adapting plans and restructuring policies to address this unplanned challenge without jeopardizing our commitment to serve Californians pursuing a university degree. Additionally,we are monitoring the impact of these natural disasters on the nation’s fuel supply and the associated risk of price increases in electricity, natural gas, and other utilities purchased by the university. We feel that these actions are our duty, not only as responsible citizens, but as a university that is focused on access and opportunity.

As stewards of California’s largest gateway to higher education, we have worked diligently to keep the CSU true to its mission and the quality of our services high. We identify and confront challenges—old and new—each year, without losing sight of the university’s prominence as the leading educator for baccalaureate and master’s instruction in California.

Ours is an endeavor that embodies all of the qualities that enable citizens to prosper, economies to grow, and societies to flourish. Our universities open doors, remove barriers, and nurture potential. Our work is both a public service and a commercial engine.

With the budget plan proposed for 2006/07, the CSU will continue to be one of the best in the business of higher education and a home for all students seeking to acquire the skills to live productively and contribute greatly. Through our ongoing partnerships and outreach efforts, we will continue to do everything in our power to preserve this precious resource for California and its future generations of students.

Charles B. Reed - Chancellor

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Budget Development
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Last Updated: October 19, 2005