Chancellor's Communication-May 20, 2002


 

May 20, 2002
 
TO:         Colleagues
FROM:    CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed
RE:         CSU Update - May Revise
 

Since many of you have expressed interest in staying abreast of news about the California State University budget, I wanted to take a moment to share some important new budget information that we learned this week.

As I have described in my past e-mail communications, California's struggling economy has placed our system in the midst of a very difficult budget situation. Over the past few months, we have all been living with a great deal of uncertainty about how bad the situation will be for 2002/03. But this week's May Revise (the governor's revision to his 2002/03 January budget proposal that takes into account the state's most recent tax revenues, population, and caseloads) gives us a somewhat better picture of what might lie ahead for the CSU.

The governor's May Revise provides the CSU with a general fund support budget of $2.758 billion. The good news is that it increases our enrollment funding levels by $19.5 million, or an additional 1 percent beyond the 4 percent enrollment increase the governor called for in his original January budget proposal. This increase will allow CSU to serve a total of more than 20,000 new students in 2002/03. That may sound like an incredible number of students, but it is the same number of new students that we accommodated this year, and it accurately reflects the demand that our campuses continue to face. In fact, as a system, we have added more than 50,000 new students in the last five years. Only a great university with as many creative and dedicated employees as the CSU could take on such an enormous task and do it so well.

The May Revise, however, is not all good news for the CSU. It reduces our base budget support by $43 million through one-time cuts in long-term needs such as technology, libraries, maintenance and equipment. Altogether, these cuts total 2.5 percent of our budget.

Although this new budget plan leaves the CSU with many unmet needs, we realize that it is not possible to meet all the system's requests in this difficult budget climate. In fact, many state agencies and departments have been asked to take on much deeper cuts.

This revised budget document now heads to various legislative committees, which will take action on the proposal over the next few months. The legislature, in consultation with the governor, is supposed to complete work on the budget bill so that the governor can sign it by July 1, the first day of the fiscal year. But this year, with state policymakers battling over how to cover the state's projected $23.6 billion deficit, that process may stretch out through the summer.

As we wait to learn more, we will continue to work closely with our many friends and supporters in Sacramento to make sure that the final budget will allow us to continue to fulfill our educational mission. I am confident that the governor and our legislative leaders understand how important the CSU is to California's well being, especially given the vital role that the CSU will play in California's eventual economic recovery.

Once we hear the news about the CSU's final 2002/03 budget, I will send out another e-mail to all employees. In the meantime, if you would like to read more about the May Revise, please see http://www.dof.ca.gov/HTML/BUD_DOCS/MayRevise02w.pdf. If you would like to receive regular e-mail updates about CSU systemwide issues, you may subscribe to the CSU Leader, our weekly e-newsletter covering CSU news and events. More information on this publication is available at http://www.calstate.edu/CSULeader.

Again, I want you to know that I have a great appreciation for all that you do for the CSU, especially at a time when our institutions have to address many demands with limited resources. Thank you for helping to make the California State University such an outstanding institution of higher education.

last updated May 20, 2002