2008/09 Support Budget

Long Term Need: Technology

Long-Term Need, $43 Million

A constant fiscal challenge at the CSU concerns how to address long-term budget need comprised of expenses that are too costly, or have had historical unfunded deficits that are too large to finance in a single budget year. The cost of keeping technology current, maintaining relevant library collections, reducing deferred maintenance, and funding instructional equipment replacement are examples of these types of core needs that require a multimillion-dollar annual commitment.

In past years, these multiyear commitments were funded as a separate component of the higher education partnership agreements, with 1 percent of the CSU’s budget earmarked for this purpose. The current Compact calls for restoration of this 1 percent General Fund commitment in this budget year (2008/09). The total budget investment necessary to address long-term budget need reflects the continuing impact of permanent reductions in State General Fund appropriations to the CSU, such as the permanent base budget reductions that occurred during fiscal years 2001/02 through 2004/05.

Technology, Core Academic Support, $33.5 million

The Integrated Technology Strategy (ITS) has for over a decade guided CSU investments in technology. ITS has historically focused its efforts on developing and refreshing the infrastructure necessary to deliver the benefits of information technology to students, faculty, and staff. A study completed in summer 2005 found that there has been chronic underfunding of academic technology. Major cost centers identified as falling below minimum baseline targets, under even the most conservative assumptions and definitions included:

  • Existing and emerging baseline needs such as:
    1. workstation refresh cycles for students, faculty, and staff
    2. server refresh cycles
    3. technical support for students, faculty, and staff
    4. security core services and support
  • Core academic technology needs including:
    1. learning management system license and support
    2. instructional design staff with disciplinary specialization
    3. smart classroom equipment and support
    4. electronic content such as databases, subscriptions, and digital libraries
  • Systemwide academic technology initiatives including:
    1. the student success initiative encompassing such areas as degree audits, advising tools, enrollment, and facilities planning
    2. the e-learning framework initiative covering such needs as learning management systems and other instruction-focused activities
    3. the professional development initiative targeting faculty, staff, and students
    4. the digital marketplace initiative that facilitates the procurement of instructional content and media as well as instructional technology tools
    5. transforming course design using technology-based solutions
    6. the foundational skills initiative, which provides resources to help students become ready for the CSU by improving their core academic skills as well as information and communication technology literacy skills
    7. the research dissemination initiative, which provides accessible services and support for CSU faculty to be informed about the results of research on academic technology and to create new knowledge on teaching with technology
    8. the system support initiative, which includes the creation and management of integrated services teams that support faculty content experts in the development of accessible online learning materials or courses
    9. the cooperative development initiative, which supports the collaborative identification, development, and sharing of accessible digital learning materials within and among disciplines

The 2005 study identified the need to increase academic technology funding by $116.5 million over a five-year period. The CSU began to address this need through a permanent allocation of $5 million in fiscal year 2007/08. Expenditures in 2007/08 are focused on beginning the development of the necessary structural foundation to address these needs. These resources were also used to begin initiatives to reduce the cost of electronic content and digital instructional media through the initial development of the digital marketplace initiative; to strengthen investments in learning management systems and other related information technology applications; and to enhance the level of faculty development in academic technology to ensure the best use of new and emerging digital resources in the teaching and learning process. The CSU was also able to continue its focus on improving student success by providing online information, testing tools, and learning modules to allow students to be “college-ready” in mathematics and English, thereby improving time to degree and reducing remediation costs in keeping with the Trustees’ policy.

The $33.5 million requested for fiscal year 2008/09 will significantly broaden academic technology support across the CSU through further development and maintenance of the initiatives begun in 2007/08 and expansion of efforts in the target areas of existing and emerging baseline needs, core academic technology needs, and systemwide academic technology initiatives. Expenditures will be in direct support of these initiatives as well as in providing the necessary technological infrastructure and related human resources required to achieve these technology initiatives.


Content Contact:
Kara Perkins
(562) 951-4560
Technical Contact:

Last Updated: November 13, 2007