President’s Letter to the Campus Community
CSULB Students, Faculty and Staff:
As you've most likely heard, the potential mid-year "trigger" cuts are now certain. CSULB's share of the mid–year $100 million CSU budget reduction announced by the Governor yesterday is estimated to be $7.7 million. While we had been anticipating a mid-year reduction due to sluggish state revenue collections and overestimated budget projections, we had been hoping that this reduction would be one-time, rather than a permanent reduction to our base budget. Unfortunately, because of reduced state revenues and other structural state fiscal challenges, we have been told this reduction is permanent.
For the current fiscal year 2011–12, this repayment to the state will come from limited reserves that we have carefully set aside in anticipation of a mid-year reduction. This means that there are no further planned reductions to division operating budgets for the remainder of 2011–12. We had hoped to use these same reserve funds, however, to complete seismic repairs, ADA upgrades, and to update classrooms. Due to this mid-year reduction, we will be forced to scale back these projects. The scope of the renovations to the Liberal Arts 2, 3 and 4 buildings, therefore, will have to be reduced. We will concentrate only on addressing the seismic and accessibility deficiencies of the buildings, which will be corrected.
Additionally, all operating divisions are currently utilizing one-time funds provided by the budget restoration dollars received in late 2010-11 to provide adequate class sections and services. These one-time funds have protected the campus, postponing severe immediate reductions. Unfortunately, these one-time restoration dollars will eventually be depleted. Unless circumstances change, CSULB may be forced to make significant additional reductions in the years to come.
Looking ahead to 2012–13, we now know that we must plan for both a new $7.7 million reduction and the prospect that we will run short of restoration dollars. These are significant challenges heading into the 2012–2013 academic year. In early January we will know much more about our 2012–13 budget outlook when the Governor releases his proposed state budget on January 10. I wish there was better state budgetary news to share with you this holiday season, but we thought it best to share what we know as soon as possible.
Despite the gloomy state budgetary scenario which has become far too common for us, our university continues to make great strides thanks to the ongoing efforts of our outstanding faculty and staff. There is a reason why we lead the nation in the number of student applicants hoping to become CSULB students next fall. It is the collective efforts of our entire campus that continues to draw national attention from higher education experts, policy makers, and others wanting to know how CSULB accomplishes so much in a state that has a distorted sense of priorities. The answer is simple. It is our outstanding students, exceptional faculty, and dedicated staff that make our university what it is today.
I hope yours is a happy and healthy holiday season. Please enjoy the break!
F. King Alexander