Chancellor's Communication-December 2, 2004
December 2, 2004
Before the fall and winter sessions come to close, I wanted to take this opportunity to bring you up to date on several key developments at the California State University.
First, I hope many of you have heard about a new report that the CSU released last month on the comprehensive impact of our university system. This study shows how the university system and its 23 campuses have a dramatic impact on the economic, social, intellectual and cultural life of all of California.
The report found that for every $1 the state invests in the California State University system ($3.09 billion in 2002/03), CSU-related expenditures generate $4.41 in spending. If the enhanced earnings of the CSU's 1.7 million alumni in California are factored in, the total annual spending impact rises to $17 for each $1 invested. The combined total annual economic impact of CSU expenditures, the enhanced earnings of its graduates, and the ripple effect of both generates a $53 billion annual spending impact, supports 527,000 jobs, and creates $3.11 billion in tax revenue-more than is provided to the CSU in direct annual state support. Essentially, the CSU more than pays for itself.
The CSU provides the majority of the skilled professionals for the state's critical knowledge-based industries such as agriculture, engineering, business, technology, media, and computer science. We graduate more students in these fields than all other California universities and colleges combined. And just as importantly, the CSU is a leader in educating the increasingly diverse population of the state. More than half of all undergraduate degrees granted to Latino, African American and Native American students in California were awarded by the CSU in 2002/03.
The CSU also improves local communities and residents' quality of life. CSU students contribute 35 million hours a year to community service activities ranging from preschool reading programs to public art preservation to health education and literacy projects.
This report shows conclusively what we have all known for a long time: that the CSU has an enormous impact and is truly working for California. These results are something that we can all be proud to share with our friends, neighbors, and colleagues around the state. We also need to use the report as a call to action to help our state policymakers understand the critical importance of the CSU and secure proper funding in Sacramento. I encourage you to read more about the report and learn how you can help spread the word at www.calstate.edu.
Another important development in the last few weeks was the Board of Trustee's approval of the CSU's 2005/06 support budget request. The budget, which is based on the higher education compact with Gov. Schwarzenegger, requests $224.8 million in new revenue for the CSU. The new revenue includes funding for a 2.5 percent increase in student enrollment. In addition, the budget recommends a 3 percent increase for general operations and a 3.5 percent compensation pool.
The budget also includes a fee increase of 8 percent for resident undergraduates and teacher credential students and 10 percent for graduate students. Including campus-based fees, the average 2005/06 resident fees will be $3,102 for undergraduates, $3,504 for teacher credential students and $3,684 for all other graduate students.
Raising fees is one of many actions we have been forced to take as a result of the budget cuts we have experienced over the previous three years. But it is important to remember that even after the fee increase, CSU students will continue to pay some of the lowest fees of any university in the nation. Also, the budget sets aside $23.3 million for student financial aid, which will cover the student fee increases for our most needy students.
Over the next several months we will be working with the governor and legislative leaders to make the case for the CSU and to ensure that the university receives its fair share of state resources. We hope these conversations result in actions that recapture the promise of California's master plan for higher education.
Last, a final piece of good news about progress we are making on our student graduation rates. New figures show that the CSU graduated more students in the 2003/04 academic year than ever before. The record total of 82,672 degrees granted also marks the largest increase in three decades, a strong sign that the CSU's efforts to help students progress more quickly to graduation are beginning to take effect. We believe we will be able to make even greater progress when our funding is restored.
It is clear that the impact of the California State University on the state is enormous, both economically and socially, and nowhere is that more evident than in the number of graduates we produce who go on to work in the state's critical industries. A CSU education adds value to both the individual student and the state's economy. This means that an investment in the CSU is a sound investment for California.
I hope that you all will join me in sharing these important messages about our university system throughout the new year. I wish you all a very safe and happy holiday season. Thank you again for all that you do for the California State University.
last updated December 2, 2004