CSU faces 10 percent in proposed cuts for 2003/04

(March 7, 2003) -- The state's ongoing budget crisis means that the California State University must absorb a $260.7 million, or 10 percent, net reduction in its 2003-04 budget, according to the proposal presented by the governor.

The cuts will affect every aspect of the university system, according to CSU administrators.

"If the CSU does not receive the Governor's proposed increases in enrollment funding and student fees, the CSU will be unable to provide the classes or services that students need to make steady progress towards graduation," said Chancellor Charles B. Reed.

California faces a current deficit of nearly $35 billion, according to Gov. Davis. The governor's budget proposal anticipates that the CSU's Board of Trustees will increase student fees in 2003/04 to compensate for the General Fund reductions. If approved by the trustees, that would equate to a 25 percent undergraduate fee increase, boosting fees by $396 for a total annual undergraduate State University Fee of $1,968. The governor has proposed an accompanying increase in financial aid for eligible students.

The governor's budget originally called for a reduction of $326 million. However, the Governor also added funds for enrollment growth and a proposed fee increase. The net decrease is $260.7 million.

In his original proposal the governor announced the following $326 million in specific cuts:

Reduce the base budget all programs and services $142,752,000
Reduce academic and institutional support (libraries, telecommunications, public safety) 58,091,000
Generate savings by increasing the student/faculty ratio from 18.9:1 to 19.9:1 53,542,000
Reduce student services by 20 percent53,197,000
Reduce CSU outreach funding by 50 percent12,596,000
Eliminate the CalTeach recruitment program2,000,000
Eliminate bilingual teacher recruitment program 2,000,000
Reduce the Center for California Studies by 50 percent1,444,000
Reduce public service programs450,000

On top of these original cuts, the CSU must accept an additional $78.6 million in unfunded mandatory cost increases. These increases include unfunded employee salary increases of $32.8 million, of which nearly $30 million is for the faculty; higher health care costs of $32.2 million; insurance premium increases, including worker's compensation, of $7.2 million; and $6.3 million in costs to open new classrooms, laboratories and offices. Furthermore, the CSU had to absorb a $43 million reduction in the long-term needs, which became permanent. These reductions amount to a total budget cut of $447.7 million.

One bright spot in CSU's proposed budget, according to Patrick Lenz, CSU assistant vice chancellor for budget development, is an increase of $105.8 million to support 5 percent enrollment growth for the coming year, or roughly 17,000 additional students. The governor's proposal also adds $45 million to partially cover the cost of 8,000 additional students in 2002/03, for which no funding had been previously provided.

In May, the governor will submit a revised budget request based on the forecast of state revenues at that time (known as the "May Revise"). Following completion of hearings, the legislature will then pass a budget bill for the governor's signature. The governor is supposed to approve the budget by July 1, the first day of the new fiscal year, but that deadline has been routinely missed in difficult budget years. Representatives of the CSU have begun and will continue presenting their case for increased funding during the various legislative hearings prior to final budget approval.

Contact: Colleen Bentley-Adler, (562) 951-4801, cbentley-adler@calstate.edu
Clara Potes-Fellow, (562) 951-4806, cpotes-fellow@calstate.edu

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Last Updated: 7 March 2003

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