2016/17 Supplemental Documentation

Center for California Studies

Center for California Studies, $4,030,000

Mission and Overview. The Center for California Studies is a unit of the CSU whose mission is to strengthen democratic governance in California through preparing people for public service and leadership, helping to solve problems of public policy, and enhancing civic literacy through multidisciplinary education. Central to this mission is the administration of a number of fellowship, internship, and other programs.

  • The Assembly, Executive, Judicial, and Senate fellowship programs annually provide experiential education on the policy-making process to 64 college graduates from across the state. At the same time, the fellows provide valuable professional work to the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of state government. During their fellowships, fellows also take graduate classes on California government issues through California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State).
  • The LegiSchool Project provides high school students a hands-on opportunity to participate in legislative debates on issues that direct affect them.
  • The Sacramento Semester Program provides undergraduate students from throughout the state with internship opportunities in a variety of state government and legislative positions in Sacramento. Participants earn six units in internship credit plus six units in an accompanying seminar course in state government and politics, which integrates the internship experience with academic work.
  • The Faculty Research Fellows Program provides for directed faculty and staff research on topics requested by the Legislature and/or executive branch agencies. Faculty from throughout the CSU system are eligible to receive research grants under this program, and projects result in papers, conference presentations, symposia, and similar public service activities.

Budget Background. The Center’s budget covers a range of costs, including: staff salaries and benefits; stipends, benefits, and graduate tuition for 64 Capital Fellows; direct grants for the Faculty Research Fellows program; and miscellaneous other costs. In recent years, the Center has experienced a variety of cost pressures, including increased tuition costs for its Fellows, expanded conference commitments, and general price increases.

Current Year Cost Pressures. The Center’s operating costs are subject to annual inflationary pressures. In addition, it is important to provide annual salary adjustments for Fellows’ salaries, in order to maintain their purchasing power and thus protect affordability and access.

Appropriation Request. The Center for California Studies requests an augmentation of $48,000. This amount reflects a 2 percent increase in base costs (excluding staff compensation and benefits including heath costs for the Capital Fellows, which is addressed separately in the CSU support budget request) that would accommodate general operating cost increases due to inflation and a modest increase in Capital Fellows’ stipends. As a result, the Center would be able to cover anticipated cost increases and to keep its student-oriented programs financially accessible to all Californians.