2016/17 Executive Summary

Chancellor's Message

Chancellor Timothy P. White with contractor.
Timothy P. White

A budget is a public statement of an institutionís priorities. This is as true for the State of California as it is for the California State University.

State leaders took an important step this June by fully funding the 2015/16 CSU Support Budget request—a first in nearly a decade. This prioritization means that our 23 campuses will collectively educate an additional 12,000 students, strategically invest in educational enhancements that empower student success, take larger steps to recruit and retain a quality faculty and staff, and address critical facilities and infrastructure needs.

Since its inception, the CSU has embraced the vision set forth in the stateís higher education master plan to draw the top-third of graduating high school seniors each year, prioritize admission to community college transfer students, and provide a high-quality, affordable education to its students. The purpose being an educated and successful California populace that leads to economic and social prosperity.

While small but steady increases are helpful, the CSU and the state cannot lose sight of the fact that much work remains. During the Great Recession, the state cut nearly $1 billion from the CSU. Today, only about $600 million of those unallocated cuts have been restored. The consequences, of course, are persistent challenges in serving the needs of California today and for our future.

The Public Policy Institute of California warns that the state faces an economic drought of 1.1 million bachelorís educated workers by 2030. If the CSU is to play its part in closing this gap, then the state must prioritize building the capacity needed to allow students to earn quality degrees. These degrees will only have value to California if they are earned through completion of rigorous academic instruction and applied study. This requires innovative programs and tools, a strong and appropriately compensated faculty and staff, and technologically-progressive and physically-sound structures.

The CSU budget plan for 2016/17 pushes one of the most efficient and effective higher education systems in the nation to focus on quality, while calling on the state to commit to increasing opportunity, by:

  • Increasing access for community college transfer and first-time freshmen students
  • Enhancing student success and completion efforts
  • Addressing compensation issues for faculty and staff
  • Providing adequate academic facilities through repair, replacement, and improvement
  • Funding CSU mandatory costs

I trust that our elected leaders in Sacramento will carefully consider and fund this request. Millions of Californians have benefited from excellent educational opportunities on our campuses. These alumni have, in turn, contributed to the collective good of this great state. I have confidence that our elected leaders will prioritize investment in the next generation, so that millions more of our fellow Californians will benefit directly and indirectly from this great institution.

Chancellor Timothy P. White