In February the Legislature enacted and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a state budget that included a $66 million permanent cut to the CSU for the 2009-10 academic year and did not provide any enrollment growth funding.
Although our external fiscal environment is unstable, campus planning is very active. We expect to be able to protect our highest priorities: student access to essential classes, the quality of student experiences and core institutional effectiveness. A high priority is maintaining faculty and staff morale and keeping everyone fully informed and engaged. Currently, we expect to be able to protect our commitments to assigned time for new faculty and for scholarship and creative activity. Another high priority is protecting permanent staff; we are not anticipating permanent employee layoffs at this time. The campus will be kept fully informed as the situation unfolds.
The state budget contained several complex contingencies. First, a portion of the budget for the CSU was tied to federal economic stimulus funds. We do not currently expect enough federal funds to avoid an additional $50 million CSU reduction but if the state does receive sufficient federal funding, our situation could improve.
Second, in May there will be a special election to securitize the lottery and enact other provisions that affect the state budget plan; if these ballot measures don't pass, our situation could worsen. Finally, in May the state will calculate tax receipts; if these are below forecast, our situation could worsen.
In addition to budget concerns, the California Legislative Analyst has recommended that the Legislature strip the CSU of future funding associated with current over-enrollment. If enacted, this would be a future budget cut as large as or larger than current projected reductions. To avoid this, the Chancellor has directed over-enrolled campuses such as Long Beach, Northridge, San Jose, and Fullerton to manage enrollment down to target. The Chancellor has declared that there will be financial penalties for over-enrollment next year.
CSULB's Resource Planning Process Committee (RPP) has recently distributed guidelines to plan for 2-4% cuts for 2009-10. Active planning for the anticipated range of reductions is underway at university and division levels and is beginning in colleges & departments. We anticipate that CSU Trustees will increase student fees again about 10% as a partial offset to budget reductions. We anticipate that the President will again authorize use of some campus reserves as a partial offset to budget reductions.
Admissions reductions for freshman and transfers will downsize enrollment next year by about 1,500 FTES or about 2,200 headcount students. This process is underway already.
Although our fiscal environment is unstable, campus planning is very active and will seek to anticipate and adapt. Again, the campus does expect to be able to protect key aspects of our mission -- student access to essential classes, the quality of student experiences and core support for institutional effectiveness. The campus will be kept fully informed as the situation unfolds.
--David A. Dowell