Campus: CSU Fresno -- January 24, 2003

President Welty Outlines Budget Impact at Fresno State

California State University, Fresno President John D. Welty informed the faculty and staff today (Jan. 21) that the state's budget deficit will require budget cuts for the 2003-04 year, on top of this year's midyear reductions.

In his "State of the University" address, Welty said the campus will feel "the sting" of cuts this spring from of a midyear budget reduction of 2.88 percent across all divisions of the university, except Academic Affairs, which had a 2 percent reduction. A variety of cost-savings measures and program modifications will take affect immediately to reduce expenditures.

Despite the challenges, Welty noted that advance planning over the last year by Fresno State officials in anticipation of state budget problems has minimized major disruptions this spring.
Next year, however, will be more difficult, he said. The governor's proposed '03-'04 budget includes a $326.1 million reduction for the California State University system.

At Fresno State, Welty has asked top officials to prepare plans for reducing the Academic Affairs budget by 5 percent next year and all other areas of the university by 7.5 percent. He said that in making plans, priority will be given to providing classes for students. The provost, vice presidents and deans will submit their plans to the president by March 1.

Positive news in the governor's proposed budget is that it includes two additional revenue enhancements. One is funding to support 5 percent enrollment growth within the CSU for the coming year. The second is funding to partially cover the 10,500 additional CSU students in the 23-campus system this year, for which no funding previously had been provided.

For students, next year could bring additional fees. The governor's proposed budget includes fee increases of 25 percent for undergraduates and 20 percent for graduates - over and above the 10 percent fee increase approved by the CSU for the spring semester.

The additional fees would raise the undergraduate State University Fee by $396 to $1,968 and the graduate fees by $348 to $2,082 for those attending full time.

"This [2003-04] is going to be a very difficult budget for us," Welty said. "However, I believe we can manage this budget provided that new revenue in the form of fee increases and enrollment growth funds are received."

Welty noted that the entire higher education community - the CSU, the University of California and community colleges - is experiencing signification budget reductions. In addition, many social services and medical programs will receive enormous reductions, and county and local governments will experience sizeable cuts.

"This will be a very difficult period for the Central California Valley, where the needs our residents are so great," said Welty. "Higher education will play an increasingly important role as our region begins to rebuild itself, as we dig out of this recession in the years ahead."
With all of this in mind, he said, Fresno State needs to move ahead with planning for its "Comprehensive Campaign," a seven-year fund-raising project to conclude in 2011, the university's 100th anniversary. The Comprehensive Campaign, which is focused on enhancing academic programs, will be the largest fund-raising effort in the university's history.

To read the entire text of Dr. Welty's address, see www.FresnoStateNews.com.

Contact: Shirley Melikian Armbruster (559) 278-2795 or (559) 269-5261


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