November 29, 2012
Provost's Letter to the Campus Community
Dear Faculty and Staff,
We are all relieved that Proposition 30 was approved by the voters of California. Approval means that the CSU is not subject to massive additional $250m "trigger" budget cuts. With passage of Proposition 30, CSULB faces a $13.5m reduction this year, instead of $20m.
What does this mean for Academic Affairs for Spring 2013 and the next academic year? Academic Affairs faces a reduction of about $5m instead of $10m. We have planned carefully. Unless there are surprises in the January 10th Governor's budget message, we are planning (1) about 30 tenure track hires for next year, (2) Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity (RSCA) for 2013–14 (this year is already planned), (3) limited one–time funding in Spring 2013 to deans to address needs for faculty travel, equipment, operating expenses and limited assigned time.
- We had already made plans adequate to support the schedule of classes for 2012–13, so passage of Proposition 30 does not alter Spring 2013 plans.
- Passage of Proposition 30 gives us improved confidence that we will be able to support the schedule of classes adequately for 2013–14.
- Passage of Proposition 30 triggered a fee reduction for students. The campus must refund about $13.5 million. Refunds may have played a key role in passage of Proposition 30, and the fee refunds are less than cuts would have been, but refunds reduce campus resources.
- Governor Brown has expressed an intention to provide $125m state appropriation to the CSU next year. We hope to see this in the January 10th Governor's Budget Proposal. This may provide about $9.4m for CSULB and is a critical piece of our plans for next year. This year, CSULB is using temporary funds to reduce the size of reductions; new money, if received, will avoid additional cuts next year but will not provide resources for enhancement.
- The January Governor's Budget Proposal and the changing state economy may alter our circumstances in the months to come, hopefully for the better, and we will await this information on January 10th before making final the plans described here.
Limited Restoration and One Time Funding
- We are now left with one–time resources that we were holding to survive the current year. We are providing deans with one–time resources and asking them to address needs in Spring 2013 for faculty travel, equipment, operating expenses and some assigned time. Assigned time uses will be limited to critical programmatic needs, because, unless circumstances change for the better, we will not have permanent funding for these restorations.
- We will support RSCA in 2013–14. Faculty proposals will be due in college offices Feb. 1. Colleges will establish internal timelines and processes to evaluate these proposals. We will establish the level of support we will be able to provide once the Governor's budget proposal is known.
- We are moving forward with 30 planned tenure track recruitments for next year. Had Proposition 30 failed, we would have canceled some of these searches. High quality candidate pools are expected. One–time funding will be used to provide additional financial support for these searches.
The quality of CSULB departments and programs continues to be widely recognized. You may have learned that CSULB achieved all–time high freshman and transfer graduation rates this year as well. It is remarkable that our campus has achieved these milestones in the same year that we have endured severe budget cuts and planned for an even more massive reduction. This is evidence of the hard work and commitment of CSULB faculty, staff, and administrators. For this I am deeply grateful.
Donald J. Para
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs