Auxiliary organizations play an important role on every CSU campus. Learn how these organizations came to be, what they do and find contact information if you have a question about AOs for Chancellor's Office staff.
Auxiliary organizations at the California State University (CSU) are non-profit organizations and separate legal entities. They operate pursuant to written operating agreement with the CSU Board of Trustees, have separate governing boards with close connections to a campus and follow all legal and policy rules established by the CSU system and the respective campus administration.
Auxiliary organizations were created to perform essential functions associated with a postsecondary educational institution, which under California law were difficult, cumbersome or legally restricted for the university and were not supported by state funding. The CSU established a network of supplemental services that complement the core academic programs at each campus and provide the full range of educational experiences expected by students.
The activities of CSU auxiliary organizations can generally be classified into one or more of the following functions:
The function of the auxiliary organization may not be readily apparent by the name given to the organization.
Brad WellsAssociate Vice Chancellor, Business and Finance(562) 951-4604
Eric AnderssonDirector, CSU Policy Library(562) 951-4545
The CSU provides the citizens of California with a full range of academic and related experiences that befit the largest four-year public system of higher learning in the country. California, while recognizing the need for an extensive network of services to complement the core academic mission and to provide the full range of educational experiences, has chosen a unique form to furnish some of these needs. The state has adopted a framework whereby some essential services are to be provided by other entities called
These non-profit organizations are organized by the respective campus as separate legal entities under the parameters outlined in special legislation contained in the Education Code. They operate in association with campuses or the Chancellor’s Office pursuant to special written agreements and are chartered solely for the purpose of performing functions that contribute to the educational mission of the university. The CSU Board of Trustees and campus presidents have oversight and general supervisory responsibility to assure compliance with CSU policy. Most auxiliary organizations are incorporated. All have a governing board that has close ties to a campus and responsibilities defined by an interconnected and over-arching framework of Education Code statutes and trustee and campus policies.
Auxiliary organizations in the CSU have been in existence for many decades as a necessary supplement to state-supported instructional and administrative activities. The first organization, the Fresno State College Association, was established in 1922. Student associations have operated at San José State, San Diego State, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Chico State, Fresno State, and other campuses since the early 1920s. The growth of auxiliary organizations has paralleled the growth in size and complexity of the CSU.
These organizations are also governed by applicable laws and regulations of the federal and state governments. In addition, they operate within the policies established by the Board of Trustees, the chancellor and campuses. Most of these organizations can be grouped into major functional categories, however, in several instances one organization performs more than one of the following functions:
In addition, there are special-purpose auxiliary organizations that perform such activities as fundraising and endowment management, sports and recreation, campus radio stations and more. The auxiliary organization must be self-supporting and does not receive funding from General Fund sources. Pursuant to existing laws and policies, the materials, facilities and services provided by the campus to these separate entities are paid for by the auxiliary organization. Revenue in excess of expenditures for a given period is used to establish working capital and reserves and to pay for capital expenditures or special campus programs.