Reports from the Standing Committees:
Fiscal & Governmental Affairs (FGA)
Praveen Soni (Long Beach), Chair
|This Month's Issue|
|Message from the ASCSU Chair|
|Report of the Faculty Trustee|
|Reports from Standing Committees
|• Academic Affairs
• Academic Preparation &
• Faculty Affairs
• Fiscal and Governmental
|Bring Back the Master Plan|
The Fiscal and Governmental Committee acted on its plans to carry out local advocacy efforts to build relationships with legislators. Several FGA members along with student leaders, CSU Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association (CSU ERFA) members, and university personnel visited with local legislators in December 2016 and January 2017 to discuss various issues of concern to the CSU, such as the 2017-2018 CSU Board of Trustees (BOT) budget request, tenure density, student access and success, veteran’s issues, cost of living and faculty housing, and aging CSU infrastructure. The Committee heard reports from the members and thanked them for their efforts, and will prepare lessons from the visits. The FGA Committee will now prepare for advocacy in Sacramento in April.
In early January, the Governor allocated $157.2 million to the CSU as promised. The FGA Committee spoke with Christian Osmena of the California Department of Finance regarding the Governor’s allocation and the chance of obtaining the remaining $167.7 million by the time the budget is finalized in June. Christian stated that obtaining the remaining funds is unlikely since California is looking at a deficit of $2 billion, is trying to maintain existing obligations, and there is considerable uncertainty and risk to the budget due to Medicaid and Federal programs. Christian also indicated that future tuition increases might be tied to graduation rates.
The FGA Committee posed the same question to Ryan Storm, the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Budget and received a different response. Ryan stated that the Governor was setting aside $1.5 billion in discretionary reserves and that the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) and the Governor’s forecasts were about $2-4 billion apart with the LAO being more optimistic. Moreover, there was a plan to eliminate the Middle Class scholarship, freeing funds for other items. Thus, there would be enough money in the California budget to obtain the additional funds for the CSU.
The FGA Committee spent a long time drafting a resolution on the proposed tuition increase for 2017-2018. There were two key aspects of the resolution. First, to utilize the tuition increase as a last resort to supplement the CSU budget after all avenues had been exhausted including joint advocacy by CSU stakeholders in Sacramento. The tuition increase will allow for access to 3600 more students and finance the graduation initiative resulting in the hiring of an additional 400 tenure track faculty. Second, to allow students to manage tuition expectations, the BOT should consider tuition increases on a small, incremental and gradual but regular basis, instead of having large tuition increases on an intermittent basis that shock students. This was one of the recommendations of the Financial Sustainability Task Force set up by the Chancellor.
The FGA Committee also worked on a resolution to support the letter to President Trump from the three heads of California higher education regarding Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Finally, the FGA Committee met with the Executive Committee Liaison Tom Krabacher and shared information between the two committees. Thank you.
For more information, please contact Fiscal & Governmental Affairs Committee Chair, Praveen Soni