Reports from the Standing Committees:
Fiscal & Governmental Affairs (FGA)
Praveen Soni (Long Beach), Chair
At the September 2016 meeting the committee was of the opinion that advocacy efforts would be most effective if state and regional/local efforts were combined throughout the year with advocacy in Sacramento in April culminating the thrust. Thus, the committee worked on finalizing plans for local advocacy implementation in the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters with Senator Swartz taking the lead. The committee awaits the results of the elections before moving forward.
The FGA Committee worked on and improved AS-3268-16/FGA (Rev) which is designed to respond to ACR 158 and familiarize the legislature about CSU policies/processes in place to ease and improve student transfers. The Legislature voted for ACR 158 to streamline and improve postsecondary education transfers.
The Committee also drafted a resolution supporting the 2017-18 CSU budget request for additional funds over and above the $157 million earmarked by the Governor. The funds will be utilized for the Graduation Initiative 2025, enrollment growth, mandatory costs and employee compensation. In the resolution, the committee urged the BOT to allocate at least half the funds requested for the Graduation Initiative ($75 million) to the hiring of tenure track faculty to increase tenure density and improve academic quality.
The FGA Committee spent a significant amount of time discussing the proposed 2017-18 tuition increase which is expected to be an information item at the November Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting and an action item at the January 2017 BOT meeting. Ryan Storm from the Chancellor’s Office suggested that the tuition increase is a last resort option if the state does not adequately fund the CSU. The process is starting early because it takes a long time to approve tuition increases.
A California State Student Association (CSSA) representative also met with the committee and stated that the CSSA had discussed the proposed tuition increase and was not likely to make a decision on it even at their November meeting. Christian Osmena of the California Department of Finance called in to the committee and was non-committal about state revenues, state funding of the BOT CSU budget request, and the impact, if any, the proposed tuition increase may have on state funding of the CSU. The Governor will be proposing a 2017-18 state budget on January 10, 2017.
The FGA Committee then discussed drafting a resolution on the proposed tuition increase, but based on the information provided by the various individuals, the committee decided that it would be premature to move forward with a resolution at this time with such limited information.
Finally, the FGA Committee met with the Executive Committee Liaison Tom Krabacher and shared information between the two committees.
For more information, please contact Fiscal & Governmental Affairs Committee Chair, Praveen Soni