The California State University Employee Update
Wednesday, May 11, 2011

CSU Outlines Contingency Plan for Possible $1 Billion Cut

CSU officials this week laid out a budget contingency plan to address an "all cuts" budget that potentially could reduce state support for the CSU by $1 billion.

Calling this worst-case scenario “devastating,” CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed explained to the CSU Board of Trustees, "There are no good options, only extreme choices. But, we need to ensure that our students still receive a quality education, that we preserve the institution, and that a degree from the CSU maintains value.”

The legislature has already approved a $500 million cut to the CSU’s 2011-12 budget. In response, the CSU will enroll 10,000 fewer students this fall, apply an estimated $146 million in revenue from a tuition fee increase already approved, reduce campus budgets by $281 million, and cut the Chancellor's Office budget by nearly $11 million.

The CSU could face an additional $500 million cut if Gov. Brown’s proposal to extend several taxes, which depends on a bipartisan vote and is subject to final approval by the state’s voters, is rejected. Without these revenues, the governor has repeatedly stated that severe additional cuts to higher education and other programs will be needed to balance the budget. The governor will present his revised budget May 16.

A $1 billion reduction would leave the CSU with few options, the chancellor noted, saying the CSU plans to "wait list" applications for winter and spring 2012, accepting applications but not making any admissions decisions until a budget is finalized. Under the worst case scenario, the CSU estimates it could turn away 20,000 qualified applicants who would otherwise enroll for the winter/spring 2012 terms.

Further, the Board of Trustees could be asked at its July meeting to authorize a tuition fee increase of up to an additional 32 percent (in addition to the 10 percent increase approved last November). For full-time undergraduates, that would mean an additional $1,566 or a total of $6,450 tuition fee per year. The possible increase—and its size—would be contingent on whether the state imposes further cuts on the CSU and the amount of those reductions. Per board policy, one-third of the increase would be set aside for financial aid.

The CSU has actively been working to make the governor, legislative leaders and the public aware that the CSU is crucial to the state’s economic well-being and that it is essential to avert further cuts to its budget by supporting tax extensions. Chancellor Reed and the campus presidents will bring alumni and community leaders to Sacramento for an advocacy day May 24. More information on the budget.

CSU Makes Progress on Graduation Initiative and Scores High on Teacher Preparation

The CSU is on track to meet or exceed its goal of raising six-year graduation rates from 46 percent to 54 percent by 2015—a goal set by the Graduation Initiative passed by CSU’s Board of Trustees in January 2010. Although overall graduation rates are increasing for all students, the gap between underrepresented minorities and non-underrepresented minorities continues to persist. Therefore, greater emphasis needs to be focused on closing this gap in order to also meet the initiative’s additional goal of cutting the gap in half.

In investigating successes with improving graduation rates and efforts to close the achievement gap, the Graduation Initiative’s leadership team reported to the CSU Board of Trustees this week that the keys to improving student success include data-driven decision making, presidential leadership, academic preparation and engagement with campus academic and social life.

The trustees also were presented with an evaluation of the effectiveness of CSU teacher preparation, which showed that students from low-performing schools taught by CSU first-year teachers performed higher than those taught by non-CSU teachers and that the first-year teachers’ principals gave the teachers high scores for their subject knowledge and teaching skills.

In addition, the trustees received a report highlighting the CSU’s commitment to ensuring safe learning environments free from discrimination, intimidation, harassment and bullying for all students through its policies, campus services and programs, and housing license agreements.

New San Diego State President Named, Northridge President to Retire

The CSU Board of Trustees has named Elliot Hirshman, provost and senior vice president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, as president of San Diego State University.

Hirshman has served as provost and senior vice president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, since 2008 where he was responsible for all aspects of the academic program. Previously, Hirshman served as chief research officer at George Washington University from 2005 to 2008, where he also served as chair, Department of Psychology from 2002 to 2005. He was also chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Colorado at Denver (2000 to 2002), special assistant to the provost, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1998 to 1999), and an American Council on Education Fellow.

Hirshman received his bachelor's degree in economics and mathematics from Yale University, and his master's degree and PhD in cognitive psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was also a post-doctoral fellow at New York University on aNational Institute of Mental Health Fellowship.

Hirshman succeeds President Stephen L. Weber who has served as president since 1996.

In related presidential news, Dr. Jolene Koester, president of CSU Northridge announced she is retiring from her position effective the end of the year. Koester has led Northridge since 2000.