Responses to
Chancellor's Communication-August 28, 2001

Here are the most frequently asked questions and my responses:

1. You mentioned that from 1997/98 to 2000/01, annual faculty salary increases totaled 23.5 percent. What was the increase in staff salaries over this time period?
 
From 1997/98 to 2000/01, annual staff employee salary increases totaled 20.4%.
 
2. What is the CSU doing to compensate for increases in the cost of health care plans?

We understand employees' concerns about increases in health care costs. Health care purchasing is becoming increasingly difficult and costly not only in California, but nationwide. Additionally, many health plans are having financial difficulties and as a result, are significantly increasing premiums, eliminating provider groups and/or exiting service areas altogether. That is why CalPERS is working on behalf of CSU employees to help keep coverage as affordable as possible for members and employers and to get the most for every healthcare dollar expended.
 
During open enrollment this fall, employees have the ability to take advantage of the CSU's new Health Care Reimbursement Account (HCRA), which enables eligible employees to pay for out-of-pocket health care expenses other than premiums with pre-tax dollars. If you need more information about this plan, please see your campus Benefits Manager.
 
Also, the CSU has the Tax Advantage Premium Plan (TAPP), which enables you to pay required health plan premiums from your salary on a pre-tax basis. You are automatically covered by this plan unless you elect otherwise.
 
3. Are faculty members obligated to fill out FARs (Faculty Activity Reports)?
 
The FARs must be submitted again this year. Their submission is required by the faculty contract for Service Salary Increase reviews that may be a part of fiscal year 2001/02 salary increases. They also can serve as a valuable tool for faculty and administrators for evaluations during the year.
 
4. What is the status of the CSU's effort to become authorized to offer a doctoral program in education?


The proposal to authorize the CSU to offer an Ed.D. degree is now part of a two-year legislative effort. A bill (SB 713), authored by Sen. Dede Alpert (D-San Diego), would require the state to ensure that a sufficient number of affordable, high-quality opportunities exist to obtain the doctoral degree. It is expected that the CSU's proposal to offer the Ed.D. will be addressed in this bill.
 
As the current legislative session is coming to an end this week, there will be no action on this bill until January.
 
Currently, 33 members of the legislature have indicated their support for the CSU's effort and have agreed to sign on and coauthor the bill when it is amended to provide this authority for the CSU. We also have received support and encouragement from K-12, community college, and other education groups around the state.
 
5. Why don't you do more to highlight faculty and staff accomplishments on the CSU's web site?
 
I think this is a good suggestion, and I have asked our web staff to investigate how we can do this most effectively. We will be working over the next several weeks to include more of this kind of information on our web site. I will give you more specific links once we have them.
 
Once again, the CSU's web site is a work in progress. It is meant to help you and serve you. We will continue to listen to your suggestions about how we can adapt it to better meet your needs.
 
6. Will you please include the "http" at the beginning of all web links in your messages?
 
Yes. Although most of our systems allow users to click on the link without the "http" some of you had problems accessing these links directly. From now on, we will include the "http" before each link.


Last Updated: September 11, 2001