2008/09 Support Budget

2008/09 Budgetary Challenges

First-Year Implementation to Increase Ratio of Tenured Faculty ($42.9 Million)

For the past three years, the California State University has been faced with enrollment challenges that significantly exceeded enrollment growth funding provided by the state. To accommodate this student demand for access, campuses have employed a number of faculty on one-time and temporary means to enroll as many students as reasonably possible while maintaining the quality and integrity of CSU academic programs. One area that has assisted in this effort is the hiring of temporary faculty to address undergraduate course demand and increasing admissions of first-time freshmen as a proportionate share of new enrollment growth.

In May 2001, the state legislature identified this reliance on temporary faculty, as opposed to permanent (tenured and tenure-track) faculty, in institutions of higher education to assist with meeting the challenge of student access demand (ACR 73). There is growing alarm that recent hiring trends in higher education, necessitated by recovery from prior-year budget deficiencies, competitive salary lags, increasing student demand, and limited enrollment growth funding support, upsets an appropriate balance between tenured/tenure-track faculty and lecturer faculty. The trend is important because tenured and tenure-track faculty bear the primary responsibility for student advising, program development and revision, and participation in shared governance. When the proportion of tenure/tenure-track faculty declines within the CSU, the quality of these efforts also wanes.

In response to legislation passed in May 2001, the CSU Academic Senate, the California Faculty Association, and the CSU Office of the Chancellor developed a plan to increase the percentage of tenured and tenure-track faculty over eight years. The final report and implementation plan contains the following features:

  1. Sets a goal to achieve 75 percent tenured and tenure-track faculty to 25 percent lecturer faculty, measured in terms of Full-Time Equivalent Faculty (FTEF) systemwide and a Student to Faculty Ratio (SFR) of 18:1.
  2. Declares that the goal is the joint responsibility of the CSU administration and faculty, and the state.
  3. Recognizes annual funding requirements for this plan will fluctuate from year to year based on enrollment and SFR improvement, ranging from $15 million to $43 million. Total costs over the eight-year period based on 2007/08 dollars will equal roughly $204.5 million, which averages to approximately $26.6 million per year for successful implementation.
  4. Requires the CSU to conduct between 1,800 and 2,000 annual searches for new tenure-track faculty.
  5. Acknowledges that the state will need to provide adequate resources for expanded funding for recruitment and hiring, so the CSU can compete in the national faculty marketplace.
  6. Provides for compensation funding for new positions at least equivalent to the average of current CSU employment offers.

The CSU has taken several steps to implement these provisions. Requests for additional state resources were stymied between fiscal years 2002/03 and 2005/06 as the CSU experienced budget reductions that resulted in a net budget loss of over $522 million. Additionally, the CSU has discussed steps that could be taken within current levels of funding resources to increase the number of tenure/tenure-track recruitments annually, reduce the Weighted Teaching Unit load of faculty to stimulate additional tenure/tenure-track hiring, and implement steps to reduce the number of faculty in temporary positions after three years.

In furtherance of these and other efforts, as well as the continuing concerns first raised by the legislature in 2001, the 2008/09 CSU budget plan includes a request for $42.9 million to implement the first phase of the eight-year comprehensive effort to increase the percentage of tenured and tenure-track faculty. The first-year phase calls for:

Improve Current Employees Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty Ratio $9,680,000
Increase Percentage of Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty $13,554,000
Improve CSU Student Faculty Ratio to 18:1 First-Year Cost $19,657,000
Total First-Year Implementation Cost Request $42,891,000

Content Contact:
Chris Canfield
(562) 951-4560
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Last Updated: November 02, 2007