Responses to
Chancellor's Communication-October 29, 2001

Here are the most frequently asked questions and my responses:

Will the CSU begin offering "golden handshakes" to its employees?
 
The CSU has no plans to offer retirement agreements such as "golden handshakes." We will still need our many experienced faculty and staff members in the coming years to help us serve our rapidly growing student population.
 
For those of you who are eligible for retirement and/or considering retirement, I hope that you are aware that Senate Bill 400, signed into law by Governor Davis in September 1999, provided major enhancements to the CSU's retirement programs, effective January 1, 2000.
 
The State Miscellaneous retirement plan, the plan provided to CSU employees, had its formula increased from 1.5% to 2% at 55. Also, the formula for the State Peace Officers/Firefighters retirement plan was increased from 2.5% to 3% at 55. These retirement improvements substantially increased retirement benefits for eligible employees.
 
If you need more information on the CalPERS programs, please visit the CalPERS web site at http://www.calpers.ca.gov/.
 
What is the status of the faculty and staff union contracts?
 
This year, although the CSU had originally requested a 6 percent compensation increase for its employees, we received only 2 percent for a compensation increase in the final state budget (see http://www.calstate.edu/budget/2001_02BudIndex/2001-02FB_Allocations.pdf). I was disappointed that we received such a small increase, but that is all we have to work with at this time.
 
The 2 percent has been offered to everyone - presidents, executives, and managers included. Since the 2 percent is such a small amount, we removed merit pay from the equation this year.
 
So far, every bargaining unit except for the CSEA and the CFA has agreed to the 2 percent. I am very concerned about the fact that we have not settled these two contracts. Given the current budget situation, we are certainly not about to get any more money from the state. Plus, the $31 million that is designated for faculty and staff salary increases is still sitting out there. I fear that if we do not settle on a contract soon, that money will be a very tempting target for the state to reclaim for the current year.
 
At a time when thousands of workers around the country are being laid off each month, I hope that we can put the issue into perspective and reach agreement as soon as possible on the 2 percent.
 
Why does the CSU have so many administrators?
 
There appear to be many incorrect numbers out there, so let me set the record straight.
 
Looking at the latest updated data, from Fall 1995 to Fall 2000, full-time equivalent (FTE) students and administrators both increased by 14%, while instructional faculty FTE increased by 15%. During this same time period, the ratio of FTE administrators to total faculty bargaining unit FTE has remained between 7.7 and 8.0 to 100.
 
Administrators are those MPP employees reported under the IPEDS category of "Executive, Administrators, Managerial." IPEDS is the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, maintained by the U.S. Department of Education, for reporting higher education data nationally.
 
One area of administrative growth that has occurred is in the area of university advancement, which is a relatively young division at most of our campuses. We have put more resources into this area because our university system is increasingly looking to non-state, private voluntary support to build quality and excellence in our programs.
 
With the expansion of our campus and systemwide advancement programs, private voluntary support has increased dramatically. In the ten years since 1990, annual fund raising increased from $96 million to a record $251 million in 2000. The CSU's voluntary support totals for 1999-2000 represented an 8.2 percent increase from the previous year.
 
Another important measure of the success of our advancement divisions is the value of the CSU's endowments. Since 1993, the market value of CSU endowments has nearly tripled, growing from $152 million to $432 million in 1999-2000. Endowment fund raising continues to be a major systemwide priority that allows us to support high-quality faculty members and academic programs, provide scholarships for needy students, and secure funds for capital and equipment to keep campuses current with the latest technology and infrastructure.
 
How will the proposed hiring freeze affect the hiring of new faculty members?
 
We plan to continue conducting searches to fill open tenure-track positions and pursuing initiatives to make CSU an attractive place for talented faculty to work. We know that our enrollment has increased significantly and we are committed to serving all of our students. We have communicated to Gov. Davis that our tenure-track faculty members are at the heart of our effort to provide a quality education to our students, and that we need to continue to hire for those positions regardless of the state budget situation.
 
Does the CSU expect to have layoffs?
 
I hope we won't, but it is hard to make any predictions right now. Our state's budget situation continues to change almost daily, and we won't know until summer 2002 what our final 2002/03 budget will look like.
 
Although we have asked for an increase in our 2002/03 general fund budget, the governor has talked about the possibility of budget reductions of 3, 5, 10, or even 15 percent for next year. We hope that such steep cutbacks will not be necessary. I will keep you posted as we learn more.
 
What is the CSU doing to ensure that its campuses are safe and secure for its students and employees?
 
The safety of our students and employees is always a top concern. Each CSU campus has developed coordinated plans to ensure that the safety of our faculty, staff, and students is protected.
 
Our campuses have convened their Emergency Operations teams to ensure that there are procedures in place to respond to any emergency situation, including natural disasters, civil disorders, or threats or acts of war. In addition, university police chiefs have developed a coordinated hazardous materials response with local fire and police departments, the regional Office of Emergency Services, and the FBI. Each campus has distributed procedures for handling of suspicious envelopes, packages, and substances. And our campus police departments have increased staff and delayed personnel vacations to ensure they are fully staffed to respond to new situations.
 
We will continue to evaluate our safety and security procedures to make sure that we are sufficiently prepared for future emergencies.


Last Updated: November 14, 2001