CSU Begins School Year with Student Boom, Budget Uncertainty

(September 5, 2002) The California State University is beginning the 2002/03 academic year with considerably more than 400,000 students enrolled, at least 20,000 headcount higher than last year. While exact details of the state budget signed today by Gov. Davis are not yet available, CSU leaders pledged to manage the university's $2.68 billion 2002/03 budget in the best manner possible for the university's workforce and these new and returning students.

CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed has asked all 23 CSU presidents to continue to be prudent in their budget plans, maintaining selective hiring freezes and avoiding major contractual commitments.

The CSU was funded for an additional 15,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) students this year, but with more than 21,000 FTE actually enrolling, there is still a funding shortfall. In addition, the CSU starts this year with $43 million in one-time cuts, as well as another $42.7 million in increased, but unfunded, costs for employee health benefit premiums, other salary expenses and energy demands.

The CSU, like other state operations, could experience additional revenue decreases as part of the more than $750 million in cuts that the governor will be making over the next few months. If the cuts were to go as high as 5 percent, that would mean an additional $135 million cut from this year's budget.

"This has been a complex and difficult year for everyone involved in the budget process," said Chancellor Reed. "We appreciate the governor's and legislature's support in terms of providing funding for student access, but are concerned what additional cuts could do at the very time more students are seeking a CSU education. We will continue to carefully monitor and respond to the budget decisions made in the coming months."

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, more than 400,000 students and 43,700 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See www.calstate.edu.

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Last Updated: 5 September 2002

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