Chancellor's Communication-August 28, 2001


 

August 28, 2001
 
TO:         All CSU Employees
FROM:    CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed
RE:         CSU Update
 

Welcome to a new academic year at the California State University. I hope that you all had an enjoyable summer term and are returning with renewed energy and enthusiasm for the academic year ahead.

Although the sheer size of this 23-campus university system makes it impossible for me to meet and speak with each of you, the power of technology helps us to keep the lines of communication open. I see this message as an important way for me to share my thoughts with you and to hear yours as well.

The start of a new year always gives us a chance to reconnect with the mission of the CSU and to assess where we stand. Over the summer, significant developments occurred in several CSU priority areas that will have important implications for the year ahead. In this e-mail I will introduce the CSU's new leaders, summarize our 2001/02 budget, and describe the great summer term we just completed.

NEW CSU LEADERS

The CSU recently welcomed three new leaders. Richard Rush, the former president of Minnesota State University at Mankato, became the new president of CSU Channel Islands. William Eisenhardt, the former provost of the Maine Maritime Academy, became the new president of the California Maritime Academy. And Louis Caldera, the former U.S. Secretary of the Army and a former member of the California State Assembly, became the CSU's new vice chancellor for university advancement. We are proud to have these outstanding individuals as part of our team.

2001/02 CSU BUDGET

In July, Gov. Davis and the California Legislature adopted a state budget for the 2001/02 fiscal year. As I have mentioned in previous messages, the slowing economy and decreasing revenues made this a very difficult budget year in Sacramento.

Many of us worked hard to demonstrate to policymakers the clear connection between the funding for our university and the quality of the programs we are able to provide. While the CSU did receive a $220.9 million increase in its budget, we were disappointed to receive a much smaller increase in our compensation pool than we had requested and lobbied hard for in Sacramento. The difficult budget situation similarly impacted employee compensation at the University of California system and at many other state agencies.

The new budget did include significant funding to help us manage our enrollment growth and provide access for students. The budget provides a $62.3 million increase that will allow us to support the additional 8,760 full-time equivalent students predicted to enroll in 2001/02. An additional $16 million was allocated to support year-round operations for 3,138 full-time equivalent students attending during summer 2001.

Much of the funding that the CSU receives for enrollment growth is used to support student services and to hire new faculty. For example, over the past six years, the CSU's enrollment has increased by a total of 50,000 students and we have hired 3,000 new tenure-track faculty members.

The new budget also addresses rising energy costs in California. The CSU received $34.1 million to help compensate for natural gas cost increases.

As for compensation for CSU employees, the CSU had requested a 6 percent increase in the compensation pool and Gov. Davis had originally proposed a 4 percent increase. The budget, as signed, provides for a 2 percent increase.

I am disappointed that the budget did not allow for the larger compensation increase for our employees. The Board of Trustees and I know that offering competitive compensation helps us to recognize, recruit, and retain high-quality faculty and staff. We also want to make sure that the compensation we offer keeps pace with the cost of living in California.

Over the past several years, we have worked hard to improve CSU employee compensation. For example, from 1997/98 to 2000/01, annual CSU faculty salary increases totaled 23.5 percent, compared to the national average of about 14.9 percent for the same period. This includes last year, when the CSU compensation pool increase was 6 percent compared to average faculty salary increases of 3.5 percent nationally. We also have made important progress in the past several years as measured against our California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) comparison institutions.

In the months and years ahead, we will continue to work with state policymakers to make improving employee compensation a priority.

For a two-page summary of the CSU budget as enacted, please see: http://www.calstate.edu/PA/news/budget.shtml

For even more detailed information, please see: http://www.calstate.edu/budget/2001_02BudIndex/01_02BudInfo.shtml

SUMMER AT THE CSU

The CSU's successful 2001 summer term marks an important accomplishment for the CSU. Preliminary estimates indicate that summer enrollment at the CSU was up more than 50 percent over last summer.

Our state-supported summer terms - offered at 15 campuses this summer and to be offered at 6 more campuses next summer - expanded the opportunity for students to pursue their studies with lower summer fees. The fact that our students responded so enthusiastically demonstrates that there is a solid demand for high-quality education offered on a year-round basis. Many thanks to all who worked to make both the state-supported summer terms and the self-supported summer sessions such a great success.

As always, I invite you to e-mail me your feedback and questions about this message at csu-chancellor@calstate.edu. While I am unable to respond to each message individually, I will post the answers to the most frequently asked questions on our website. You will find them no later than Sept. 11th at http://www.calstate.edu/Executive/. For those of you on quarter calendars who may not see this message until after that time, please be assured that there will be many opportunities to send me your comments or questions throughout the year.

We keep these messages, your questions, and the responses on our website so that you can view them at any time. To see an index of all of our correspondence from the past year, please visit http://www.calstate.edu/Executive/

Once again, I want to thank you for all that you do for the California State University. I wish you a productive and inspiring academic year.

last updated August 28, 2001