2007/08 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 for California’s students. Since then it has grown into the country’s largest, most diverse, and most affordable four-year public university system, with over 430,000 students 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 88,000 students each year into California’s workforce including the majority of skilled workers in California’s critical industries such as agriculture, engineering, business, technology, media, and computer science. The CSU also prepares a vast majority of the professionals who serve the people of California that includes nurses, teachers, social workers, public administrators, and those in the criminal justice field.

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 CSU graduates are taken into account, the CSU’s impact reaches $53 billion, supporting approximately 527,000 jobs in the state. 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.

The 2007/08 CSU budget represents a continuation of state education priorities under the Higher Education Compact to ensure student access, address compensation issues, increase student financial aid, and fund CSU mandatory costs. The CSU will continue efforts to address the workforce needs of California in the areas of nursing and K-12 mathematics and science teacher preparation that has been supported with “above the Compact” funding. However, it is imperative that additional “above the Compact” resources are given serious consideration in the 2007/08 budget to support these and other educational priorities that are vital to the economy of this state.

The Higher Education Compact affords CSU campuses with the fiscal stability to plan student enrollment, hire qualified faculty and staff, grow critical education programs, and mitigate overwhelming increases in student fees. The CSU recognizes that the Compact funding will not replace the $522 million reduction in prior CSU budgets or fully address the current demand for student services, nursing programs, K-12 teachers, or compensation needs. With the understanding that the Compact represents the floor and not the ceiling for state higher education support, this budget proposes both one-time and ongoing funding commitments in addition to the CSU’s Compact requirements in 2007/08.

The CSU has the ability to respond in a timely fashion to the workforce needs of California as acknowledged by the governor and the legislature’s recent investments in K-12 math and science teachers and nursing programs. The state has invested $1.2 million in the CSU budget over the past year to enroll students in K-12 math and science teacher preparation programs, and the CSU has responded by increasing the number of credentialed K-12 math and science teachers from 768 to 1,011. This represents a 32 percent increase and an impressive start to meeting the CSU’s commitment to double the number of math and science teachers over the next five years.

The CSU is expanding enrollments in traditionally high-cost nursing programs to meet California’s critical health care shortage, with over $4 million in one-time and permanent resources “above Compact” approved by the governor and the legislature. The CSU will enroll an additional 410 students in CSU graduate nursing programs in 2006/07; 130 of these students are supported exclusively with “above Compact” state resources. The CSU will also expand its baccalaureate nursing programs in 2006/07 by 35 students, and the governor and legislature have approved one-time funding in anticipation of a recommendation to add 340 students to the BSN program in 2007/08. Providing permanent funding for this effort will be an encouraging step in addressing California’s nursing shortage.

The CSU recognizes the state’s overall fiscal condition and competing challenges that affect the decision to support additional funding above the Higher Education Compact. However, there are fundamental areas that are represented in the 2007/08 CSU budget that are not only vital for students completing their degrees, but also play a major role in California’s economy and add tax revenue to the state’s General Fund. The CSU’s “above Compact” funding recommendations include a student services initiative for the Early Assessment Program and to facilitate graduation; additional K-12 math and science teacher preparation and special education programs; aggressive efforts to expand nursing programs; increased funding to attract and retain quality faculty and staff; and resources for applied research. In addition, the 2007/08 CSU budget includes a “one-time” funding request for technology equipment to better serve students in the classroom and for deferred maintenance.

The 2007/08 CSU 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, unions, and administrative representatives), and the chief administrative and academic officers of the CSU. Full funding under the Higher Education Compact and recognition of the CSU’s additional funding requests represents a modest yet critical investment that will produce an overwhelming rate of return from CSU students and a major benefit to the workforce and fiscal stability of the state of California.

Charles B. Reed - Chancellor

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Chris Canfield
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Last Updated: November 08, 2006