The California State University and California are presently going through the most difficult budget year that any of us has seen. Last February, the governor and the legislature resolved a massive budget deficit, only to perform the same difficult exercise in July as state revenues continued to decline. As a consequence of state reductions to the CSU, all of us have been working together to address a $564 million funding reduction. Combined with earlier cuts, state funding support for the CSU is now $625 million less than it was two years ago. Everyone has sacrificed. In the midst of these challenges our efforts are focused on maintaining the quality of instruction and services to students.
The state will continue to face great fiscal challenges in 2010/11. California’s economic recovery and its longer-term economic and social future depend on the state making adequate investment in its people through higher education. This Support Budget request for 2010/11—which I call a “recovery budget” for the California State University—is an important statement by the CSU Trustees of what the university needs to once again fulfill its mission to the people of California. The California State University graduated over 93,600 students last year to address the workforce needs in California, especially in critical industries such as agriculture, engineering, business, technology, media, and computer science. There is a pressing demand for student access to the CSU, yet for the first time in CSU history our admissions are “impacted” systemwide by the severity of the state funding cuts. All of this—access to education and the preparation of the state’s future workforce—are at risk unless the state begins as soon as possible to reinvest in this great “university of the people.” This budget request is the first necessary step in this process of recovery and reinvestment.