President's Letter to the Campus Community
CSULB Faculty, Staff and Students:
As you already are aware, California voters passed Proposition 30 – The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012 – at the polls on November 6. According to the Governor's 2012-13 State Budget, the passage of Proposition 30 assures higher education and the CSU of a status quo budget and no further reduction in state support at this time. Although the level of state support to the CSU still has been reduced by almost $1 billion since 2007-08, a funding reduction of approximately 33 percent, no additional cuts is good news.
As you are also aware, campus budget planning for this year was based on the anticipation that Proposition 30 would not pass and be rejected. Heading into this academic year, operating divisions were informed of looming reductions totaling over $15.1 million and those reductions were to begin implementation in the fall. In general, all divisions are relying on the remainder of one-time budget restoration funds received from the state in 2010 to mitigate the impact of this latest budget cut. This mitigation has allowed us to deliver a reasonable schedule of classes, has also protected our workforce and has largely preserved critical services throughout the campus.
Since Proposition 30 was approved, the CSU Board of Trustees agreed to roll back tuition fee rates to 2011-12 levels. I understand and fully appreciate all the work involved in the processing of fee refunds and grant over-payments. While this fee rollback results in a revenue loss of approximately $132 million in 2012-13 for the CSU, not receiving the $250 million trigger reduction more than offsets the loss of revenue. More importantly, in exchange for the fee rollback, the Governor has committed to a permanent state support augmentation of $125 million to the CSU beginning in 2013-14. This permanent state support augmentation is certainly positive news for future years and another step in the right direction for California.
Based on these developments and assuming no significant surprises in the January 2013-14 Governor's State Budget, we are able to adjust permanent budget cuts to all operating divisions down to $6.8 million from the planning figure of $15.1 million. This will allow us to balance the campus budget for 2012-13 and allow us to serve our students for the remainder of the year, including offering a full schedule of spring classes.
More importantly, however, CSULB's share of the $125 million state support augmentation beginning in 2013-14 may enable us to permanently replace some of the one-time restoration funds that have allowed us to support an adequate schedule of classes and temporarily mitigate more painful budget reductions. Because this augmentation effectively only replaces tuition fee revenues that we had planned to receive, it does not allow for any new initiatives, restoration of prior cuts, or increased spending. It is still my hope that the CSU receives an increase in restoration funding in the state's next budget cycle. But in the meantime, we should be gratified with a status quo budget and the confirmation that Californians believe education needs to be a state priority once again.
I am grateful to the campus for the hard work that our collaborative planning has required. I want to express my further appreciation for the continued cooperation, enthusiasm, and support of all faculty and staff. This cooperative spirit has helped us weather these unprecedented difficult and turbulent circumstances. Thanks to the help of our CSULB faculty, staff, and student leadership, we can continue to deliver on our core mission of helping students to succeed.
Please have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving weekend.
F. King Alexander