A Summary of the September 14-15, 2004 Board of Trustees Meeting

Contact: Clara Potes-Fellow, cpotes-fellow@calstate.edu, 562-951-4800

Trustees to Vote on Long-Term Student Fee Policy on Oct. 28

The California State University's Board of Trustees agreed to defer a vote on a proposed long-term student fee policy until its October 28 meeting. Trustees asked for the delay so that questions could be answered before a vote on the issue is taken.

The proposed policy calls for annual adjustments of resident undergraduate and post-baccalaureate fees until they reach one-third (33 percent) of the cost of their education. Annual increases in undergraduate and post-baccalaureate fees would be no larger than 10 percent, and resident graduate fees would be gradually raised to a level equal to 150 percent of the undergraduate fee. Once the student fees reach these levels, future annual adjustments would be based on the change in California per-capita income.

The proposal results from consultation and discussions among Chancellor’s Office officials, the CSU Executive Council, the California State Students Association, and the Statewide Academic Senate.

The policy reaffirms the CSU’s historic commitment to ensuring authentic access and maintaining the quality of education, while recognizing the fiscal challenges that confront both the state and the system. CSU officials anticipate the policy would provide more predictability and stability to students who would be notified of any new fee increase at least 10 months in advance. The policy also would allow the system and the 23 campuses to have enough time to plan course offerings and to better manage its resources to meet students’ needs.

For the policy to successfully meet its objectives, the state must meet its commitment to provide adequate funding. If that does not occur, the policy would provide the Board with sufficient flexibility to set fees outside the parameters of the policy.

The policy builds upon a 1993 fee policy that provided a two-thirds/one-third split in the cost of education, with the state providing two-thirds of the cost. Since that time, the instability of the state budget created a series of unpredictable changes in student fees. Reductions were implemented in good economic times, and sudden increases were adopted to help cope with the state fiscal crisis in the last three years.

Early Assessment Program Report

Trustees received an update on the Early Assessment Program, a CSU initiative to increase high school students’ readiness for college and to reduce the need for remediation in English and mathematics of incoming CSU freshmen. The program will communicate to students their readiness for college-level work prior to their entering the 12th grade.

Currently, most students don’t have complete knowledge of their college readiness until after admission to the CSU. All students admitted as first-time freshmen must meet CSU placement standards prior to enrolling in classes. They do that by taking the English Placement Test (EPT) and the Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) test. Only those students who have obtained certain scores on the SAT or ACT tests are exempt from taking the placement tests. Those who are not proficient must take remedial classes during their freshmen year or the summer before their fall admission. More than half of the freshmen who entered the CSU in fall 2003 were not proficient in math or English or both.

The Early Assessment Program will inform high school officials, students, and families whether the 11th grader will be exempt from taking the English and mathematics placement tests upon admission to a CSU campus. Those who are not exempt would take additional courses during the senior year of high school and then pass the CSU placement test. In the long term, this effort should reduce the number of students taking remedial classes during the first year of college.

The program will save time for students, and money to the state by reducing the number of remediation courses, which do not count toward a baccalaureate degree.

The Early Assessment Program is a voluntary examination administered in conjunction with the California Standards Test. It contains 15 additional multiple-choice items in both English and mathematics, and an essay.

Test results are sent to school districts, which in turn distribute them to high schools and students. The scores tell students if they are exempt or non-exempt from placement testing in English and exempt, conditionally exempt or non-exempt from placement testing in mathematics.

The Early Assessment Program also includes CSU’s collaboration with high schools to develop courses and prepare the teachers who will assist students taking the additional classes in the 12th grade.

This program is a collaborative effort by the CSU, the California Department of Education, and the State Board of Education. The CSU will release the results of the first Early Assessment test, which was taken by 11th graders in spring 2004, by the end of September.

The EAP is part of a graduation initiative approved by Trustees in 2003 that seeks to increase academic preparation for college, improve the community college transfer process, and identify a clear path to the degree for students.

2005-06 Budget Report

The Board of Trustees was presented with the preliminary discussions between the CSU Budget Advisory Committee and the Executive Council on the development of the 2005-06 budget. The board also received the timeline for internal development of the budget, discussions with the Department of Finance and the Governor’s Office, and the schedule for legislative actions.

The CSU and the UC signed a compact with the governor that accepted budget reductions in the 2004-05 budget as a contribution to the solution of the state’s fiscal crisis. In return, the universities obtained a funding agreement that begins in 2005-06 and is effective through 2010-11.

The six-year agreement provides funding for each university system for 2.5 percent annual enrollment growth equivalent to 8,000 FTES at the CSU as well as a 3 percent increase in base funding in the first two years, a 4 percent increase in 2007-08, and a 5 percent increase in fiscal years 2008-09 through 2010-11. The compact also assumes that undergraduate fees will increase no more than 8 percent in the first two years of the agreement.

The Trustees will take action on the proposed 2005-06 budget in October.

2004-05 State Budget Report

Trustees were presented with a summary of legislative actions leading to the final adoption of a 2004-05 budget for the California State University system. The final CSU 2004/05 General Fund budget is $2.447 billion. The budget includes new student fee revenue of approximately $102 million. The initial budget submitted by the governor to the legislature in January called for a $239.7 million cut to the CSU. In the final budget, the CSU received a $40.3 million restoration that includes $33.3 million for a 1.87 percent enrollment increase (7,500 students) and $7 million to restore funds to academic preparation programs. The final budget resulted in a total net cut to the CSU of $157 million.

The Trustees Also Approved:

  • Naming the new Engineering/Architecture Renovation and Replacement of Bldg. 191 at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as the Bonderson Engineering Projects Center in recognition of the $6 million contribution by Paul R. Bonderson, Jr. and his wife Sandra K. Bonderson to the College of Engineering to establish the Bonderson Excellence in Engineering Gift Fund.
  • Naming the current Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Mustang Stadium as the Alex G. Spanos Stadium in recognition of the $4 million contribution by Alex G. Spanos and his wife Faye Spanos to the Athletics Department.
  • Honoring the significant contributions of attorney Robert C. Taylor, Jr., to CSU Monterey Bay, Sonoma State University, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
  • Approval to issue systemwide revenue bonds and related debt instruments for two projects: the Union Renovation at CSU Northridge, and the Student Recreation Center project at Fresno State.
  • Authorizing Sonoma State University to accept a gift of 190 acres of property on Sonoma Mountain next to the university’s Fairfield Osborn Preserve.
  • Amending the 2004/2005 Capital Outlay Program, Nonstate Funded to include four projects: University Heights Faculty/Staff Housing at Cal State Fullerton; Swimming Pool Complex at San Diego State; and Transit Station and Center for Children and Families at Cal State San Marcos.
  • Approving the State and Nonstate Funded Five-Year Capital Improvement Program 2005/2006 through 2009/2010.
  • Approving schematic plans for the Engineering/Architecture Renovation and Replacement Addition at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
  • Accepting the 2004/2005 Legislative Report No. 11.
  • Authorizing projected degree programs whose academic plans were part of the Fast-Track Program Development procedure: a B.A. with a linguistics major at Cal State Long Beach, a B.A. with an interdisciplinary studies major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a M.A. in history at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
  • Accepting for implementation the 12 recommendations of the CSU Presidents’ Task Force on Education Leadership Programs.

The Trustees Also Heard:

  • The CSU Annual Investment Report.
  • The CSU Seismic Review Board Annual Report.
  • The final report on the 2004/2005 State Funded Capital Outlay Program.
  • Status report on current and follow-up Internal Audit assignments.
  • A report on corrective action plans for campuses with findings in the Single Audit Reports.
  • A status report on the 2003 recommendations arising from the CSU Presidents’ Commission on Teacher Education report.
  • Litigation Report No. 20.


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Last Updated: September 17, 2004

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