May Revise Reported, Fee Increases Deferred

May Revision of the State Budget Spares CSU From Additional Cuts

(May 15, 2003) Patrick Lenz, CSU’s assistant vice chancellor for budget development, told the trustees that the CSU did not receive additional cuts, as initially feared, in the May Revise presented Wednesday by Gov. Davis.
The May Revision maintains the net budget reduction at $260.7 million, or 10 percent as proposed by Davis in January. The CSU’s General Fund budget is $2.6 billion.

“But we are not out of the woods,” said Richard West, CSU’s executive vice chancellor and chief financial officer. “We don’t have a budget yet.”

West said that a $69.5 million additional cut proposed by the state legislature is still a real possibility.

CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed said he was pleased that the governor did not cut the CSU budget anymore. “If we can work with the governor’s budget, then we have a plan,” he said.

State legislators will take the governor’s revisions and discuss them in various committees. The CSU will work with legislators, the Department of Finance, and the governor’s office to prevent any more cuts to CSU funding.

CSU Trustees Defer Vote on Fee Increases

The CSU Board of Trustees deferred action on a fee increase for the 408,000-student university system until there is a firmer indication of the final budget reductions the university will absorb in the upcoming academic year.

Trustees, however, thoroughly discussed the concept of fee increases and heard testimony from several student leaders opposing any fee increase at this time.

Art Pimentel, chair of the California State Student Association, along with 11 other students representing several CSU campuses formally asked the trustees to consider other ways to balance the budget.

Trustees and Chancellor’s Office staff responded by detailing cuts already made and also explained that the fee increase will provide classes for students next fall.

Outside the Trustees meeting room about 200 students protested at a rally.

CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed recommended the board defer action and told the Trustees that when he makes a recommendation regarding fee increases, it will be based on three important priorities: (1) serving as many students as possible; (2) protecting the students currently in the system; and (3) protecting as many faculty and staff as possible from layoffs.

Before the action was deferred, the Trustees were planning to vote on a 25 percent fee increase for undergraduate students and 20 percent increase for graduate students. Full-time undergraduate fees would have been increased $396 to $1,968 annually and full-time graduate student fees would have been increased $348 to $2,082 annually.

This level of fee increases was recommended by Gov. Davis in his January budget proposal for fiscal year 2003-2004.

CSU student fees currently are among the lowest in the country. Until an increase in December 2002, fees had not been raised for eight years and, in fact, had decreased 10 percent.

Contact: Clara Potes-Fellow (562) 951-4806

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Last Updated: 15 May 2003

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