Inside CSULB

Academic Affairs Budget Update

August 26, 2013

Dear Faculty and Staff,

I am delighted to let you know that we have a stable budget outlook for the first time in several years. Prop 30 was affirmed by the voters. Although our losses have not been fully restored, our budget outlook is stable and modestly improving. I am delighted to report that we will be providing increased funding to colleges and departments this year.

Although we do not know for certain, it is likely that collective bargaining negotiations will bring a much needed modest rise in pay for faculty and staff this year, for the first time in several.

We have much of which to be proud. Academic Affairs has emerged from several difficult budget years with its core mission intact, with record high graduation rates and degrees awarded, and with many instances of continued excellence. This remarkable performance is attributable to the hard work of many faculty, students, staff, and administrators under difficult circumstances. I offer my gratitude to the campus for this commitment and my congratulations on these achievements.

Following are key developments as we begin the academic year:

  • The Governor back-filled the fee reduction he asked us to take last year, almost but not quite fully.

  • The Governor provided a modest 5% increase in funding for the CSU and indicated that in the next and subsequent years, additional increases are expected.

  • While welcome, our modest increase does not fully restore the substantial loss of state appropriation over the past several years.

  • The CSU's 2013-14 budget includes an overall employee compensation pool of 1.2%. Although we do not know for certain, it is likely that collective bargaining negotiations, which are underway, will bring a much needed modest rise in pay for faculty and staff this year, for the first time in several.

  • CSULB's share of the new state appropriation is roughly $4.4 million.

  • RPP recommended to the President two allocations: $3.4 million to the divisions to fund operational requirements, and $1 million to address campus high priority needs across Divisions.

  • Academic Affairs’ share included funds for tenure track hires, faculty scholarship (RSCA), reducing class size (especially for writing classes), high technology classrooms (CBA and LA 2-4), and staffing to support online and blended instruction.

  • Academic Affairs' additional investment in RSCA will bring CSULB back to the highest level of internal RSCA investment ever, $1 million per year and, we think, the highest internal investment among CSU campuses.

  • The CSU allocated $17.2 million through a competitive process emphasizing the use of technology to improve student success. CSULB received $1.58 million for technology enhanced courses, electronic advising projects, and an undergraduate research program aimed at student success.

  • The Student Excellence Fee will increase by $79 a semester ($29 for summer session) starting in Spring 2014 and will generate about $3 million this year to be used to support technology and equipment that affects students, such as wireless and classroom technology. Colleges will begin spending this new money this fall. Next year the annual amount will double.

These are welcome improvements in our budget outlook, especially compared to the prior year.

Performance Funding

AB 94, signed into law this year, requires the CSU to report on performance measures including transfer and low-income enrollments, four- and six-year graduation rates and degrees awarded. We expect the Governor to link next year’s CSU budget to performance measures.

Fortunately, CSULB has long been working on improving these metrics. Our efforts to support students – in addition to being the right thing to do – are very much in our institutional interest in the new performance funding environment.

AB 94 also establishes the parameters for a new Middle Class Scholarship program, which will be phased in beginning in 2014-15.

Private Support for CSULB

CSULB's University Relations & Development Endowment hit a milestone this year, surpassing $50 million. As CSULB seeks to maintain its status as one of the finest public universities in the nation, our endowment is emerging as one of the single most important resources available. We are immensely grateful for the generous contributions provided by our many alumni and friends.

Grant and Contracts

Externally supported research expenditures last year were about $30 million. Federal sequestration had an adverse effect on expenditures and new external awards. Nevertheless, CSULB faculty received a number of notable awards that will commence in the coming year including:

  • $6.25 million to the School of Social Work for education in child welfare and mental health services; almost half will go directly to students for scholarships, stipends and awards.

  • $3.75 million to the Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training to create a culturally relevant intervention to improve nutrition and exercise behaviors.

  • $1 million to the College of Education to train school psychologists.

  • $650,000 to the colleges of Education and Natural Sciences and Math to promote teacher preparation for STEM education.

In Context

Although the state budget has stabilized, state investment in public universities may never reach levels of the past. California's fiscal support for higher education per $1,000 of personal income is roughly equal to the levels of state support provided in the 1960s, nearly a half century ago. Yet the CSU is serving 90,000 additional students. At CSULB, state appropriations account for only about 23% of our overall budget. As recently as 2009, state support accounted for 47% of the overall budget.

Go Beach!


David Dowell

Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

California State University, Long Beach