President's Letter to the Campus Community
Dear Campus Community,
As you are probably aware from statewide news sources, there really is not much new information to report regarding the state's budget situation. Our current financial situation is unchanged because the Governor and legislature have yet to take any action. However, the next milestone in the state's budgeting process is the Governor's May Revise Budget, which is due to be published no later than May 14.
The good news is that state revenue is up slightly from last year. While certainly not enough of an increase to come anywhere close to resolving the our financial problems, at least we do not expect the situation to worsen. Also encouraging is the Governor's continued public support of public higher education. Recent reports are that the Governor is advising the legislature that if they send him a budget without the funding increase proposed in his January budget, he will veto it.
Because the political situation remains so uncertain and we have not observed any real movement toward budgetary resolution, the CSU has not changed its budget planning assumptions for next year. This means that we are continuing to implement our targeted reduction in student enrollment and keeping in place our plans for handling the budget cuts that have been assigned to us so far. As a reminder, all indications are that a FY 2010-11 state budget will not be finalized until sometime in late summer or early fall, which is three to four months into our fiscal year and four to five months after we have had to make our student enrollment decisions.
Recognizing the complications we face because of such late budget decisions, the state has provided us with $3.7 million in one-time funds (these are federal stimulus dollars provided to the state and then passed along to the CSU) to help us respond to mismatches between our fall course schedule and the actual needs of students. These funds will be used to add course sections as the need arises during student registration. The ultimate objective of this funding is to facilitate student progress toward graduation, and so the focus will be to assure that gateway and other high-demand courses are available.
Finally, I realize that the issue of layoffs remains on everyone's mind. Great stress has been caused by the financial limbo in which we have had to live and operate for the past year. While it is still our intent to avoid the layoff of permanent employees if at all possible, that decision cannot be made until after the Governor's May Revise Budget is released and more concrete state budgetary information is made available. As soon as we have information regarding the May Revise Budget and any additional information, we will report it to campus.
I regret I do not have more definitive news to share at this time. However, as we move toward another graduation season, we should take special pride in the fact that we are about to graduate thousands of talented students in spite of the obstacles that have been thrown in our path. So it is with much appreciation that I thank you for your continued good work and dedication.
F. King Alexander