Responses to Chancellor's Communication-November 14, 2000

Here are the most frequently asked questions and my responses:

1. If faculty and staff compensation is such a high priority, and the CSU is requesting an overall 11.7 percent increase in its state appropriation, why is there only a 6 percent increase for faculty and staff compensation?

Compensation and Benefits is the single largest component of CSU's budget request. Funding for enrollment growth is the second largest increase in our budget, which is provided in addition to our "core" budget request. Compensation is included in the core request.

Also, in addition to our core request, there are specific initiatives proposed by the governor for K-12 academics in the state wherein CSU plays an implementation role. These two programs involve fellowships for K-12 teachers and training K-12 teachers in the use of instructional technology. CSU administers both programs. Looking at the budget request for 2001/02 in its entirety, the distribution of the absolute amount of increase shows CSU's commitment to the broad compensation needs of our faculty and staff.

Distribution of 2001/02 Amended* CSU Budget Increase
Compensation and Benefits $139,915,000  =   38%
Enrollment and Access 109,583,000  =   30%
CSU General Operating Cost Increases 40,925,000  =   11%
CSU Academic Preparation/Workforce Initiatives 38,118,000  =   11%
Governor's Initiatives for K-12 Academic Preparation 36,000,000  =   10%
$364,541,000  = 100%

* The budget request approved by the Board of Trustees in October has been amended to reduce the level of projected enrollment growth from 3.5 percent to 3 percent and to revise the total increase in year round operation enrollment growth to be funded at four CSU campuses.

2. Does the faculty and staff compensation increase get distributed equally among departments?

Budgeted compensation is allocated to campuses for distribution by campus presidents once the State's budget is adopted. While distributions to departments vary due to the size of the department and the number of eligible employees, campus presidents are responsible for the distribution of compensation to departments and other organizational units in a manner most appropriate to fulfill the contractual agreements. Compensation increases are paid to each employee based on his/her eligibility and the language in the applicable negotiated agreement.

3. Will the CSU cover the cost of the anticipated increase in PERS healthcare premiums?

PERS manages the health care programs for CSU employees as well as for other state employees. The practice at CSU is to fully fund the cost of the employer's contribution to health care premiums as negotiated by PERS. The CSU employer contribution is determined by the Government Code and reflects the weighted-average cost of the four most populous plans. The employee contribution is the difference between the premium cost, as determined by PERS, of the plan the employee chooses and the employer contribution paid by CSU. The extent to which employee contributions for health insurance plans are increasing is determined by the premium rates ultimately negotiated by PERS. PERS is still reviewing health plan costs. The CSU expects PERS will communicate final rate and associated employee contributions increases soon.

4. Will the CSU offer a paid holiday in honor of Cesar Chavez?

We have been informed by all unions that they have accepted our offer to add this holiday. At the January Board of Trustees meeting we will be asking the Trustees to ratify these agreements and to approve a change in Title V authorizing the holiday for non-represented staff as well. If and when the Trustees approve this change, we will add a new paid holiday to our calendar in honor of Cesar Chavez. The holiday will be celebrated on March 31 and is not a holiday that may be rescheduled at another time. Since March 31 falls on a Saturday this year it will be observed by the university on the preceding Friday in accordance with normal university policy.

5. Can you explain the budgetary priority of "helping to build California's economy by investing in key academic programs"? What are "key academic programs"?

The current number of CSU graduates in the fields of agriculture, computer science, engineering, and nursing are not adequate to fill California's projected need. The programs that address these fields are traditionally more expensive, due to higher equipment costs and necessarily smaller class sizes, along with the difficulty of obtaining additional quality instructors in a tight job market.

Recognizing this need, the state made a one-time allocation in 2000/01 of $10 million for what is now called the California Workforce Initiative. These funds have since been allocated to the campuses, based on enrollment in these strategic disciplines. The specific distribution of these funds will be left to the discretion of the campus presidents; however, this type of one-time funding is typically used for equipment and materials.

Several of you expressed an interest in getting involved with this initiative. I suggest that you contact your presidents or department heads for more information.

The CSU is requesting $10 million on a permanent basis to enhance the currency and the quality of these programs and to create opportunities to prepare more graduates in these disciplines.

Those "key academic programs" are part of the California Workforce Initiative, which I discussed in the August 29 e-mail and in the responses to those questions. For more information, please refer to both of those links at /Executive/index.shtml.

6. Can you explain what you mean by "Due to the wide variety of staff positions, we are unable to make institutional comparisons of staff salaries"?

This language refers to the fact that we are unable to calculate a "staff salary gap" in the same way that we can calculate a "faculty salary gap." There is no single "gap" that applies to all staff employees at the CSU. I discussed this issue in more detail in the response to the August 29 e-mail. Please see

last updated 4 December 2000