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Budget Central

September 20, 2013

President's Letter to the Campus Community

State Budget

The governor provided a modest 5% increase in funding for the CSU and has indicated that in the next and subsequent years, additional increases are expected.

These modest increases do not fully restore the substantial loss of state appropriation that we experienced over the past several years. However, this budget outlook does place us on a stable footing with modest positive expectations for the future.

CSULB's estimated share of the budget is roughly $4.4 million in new money. As always our Resource Planning Process (RPP) gave thoughtful consideration to the best uses of these funds. RPP recommended to President Alexander two allocations which were approved: (1) a pro rata allocation of $3.4 million to the divisions to fund operational requirements, and (2) $1 million to address campus high priority needs across divisions.

The CSU's 2013-14 budget includes a pool of funds for employee compensation increases. Potential funding for this pool in the amount of 1.2% of total CSU compensation has been set aside by the Chancellor's Office and is not included in campus discretionary funding. After many years without a General Salary Increase (GSI), the potential to award a compensation increase is welcome news. At this point we do not know how or when these funds will be allocated among various employee groups. For represented groups, compensation increases are subject to the collective bargaining process, which is well underway.

The governor's budget message emphasized the need for public higher education to use technology to improve access to high demand courses. Although the governor blue-lined language that would have earmarked a portion of this year's funding for the CSU for technology-enhanced learning to reduce bottleneck courses, Chancellor White agreed to set aside CSU money to accomplish this objective. In May, the Chancellor's Office ran a competitive process among the campuses to award funds. We are very pleased that CSULB received $1.58 million from this process for technology enhanced courses, electronic advising projects and an undergraduate research program aimed at student success.

A more thorough description of CSULB's budget can be found here

Performance Based Funding

The governor signed Assembly Bill 94 that requires the CSU to report on performance measures beginning this year. Senate Bill 195 (Liu), currently in the legislative process, contains language that emphasizes performance metrics related to "student access and success," aligning "degrees and credentials with the state's economic, workforce and civic needs," and "efficient use of resources." The language also suggests performance be "considered as part of the annual state budget process. "It is clear that performance based funding will impact the CSU budget allocations beginning in 2014-15. Our significant campus efforts over the past several years focused on improving student success and degree completion position CSULB to be successful on performance funding metrics.

AB 94 also establishes the parameters for a new Middle Class Scholarship program, which will be phased in beginning in 2014-15.

University Technology, Equipment and Facilities Upgrades

We are all aware of the rapidly changing world of technology and its impact on our everyday lives, including how we work, teach and interact with others. In the last few years of deep budget reductions, CSULB has not had resources to provide adequate support for technology. These concerns have been raised repeatedly by an array of campus constituents, including students, faculty and staff. Of great importance were negative impacts on instruction and instructional equipment. Before leaving, President Alexander took action to address this critical issue, approving an increase in the Student Excellence Fee (SEF) to augment current funding for campus-wide and college-based technology, smart classrooms and instructional equipment. The fee will greatly improve wireless access, bandwidth and multiple student device connectivity. It will also help pay for academic related licensed software on students' personal devices. The fee increase of $79 a semester ($29 for summer session) will begin in spring 2014.

For the first time since 2002, the ASI fee will increase by $16 per semester, effective fall 2014. Revenues will fund ASI facility maintenance, renovation, capital replacement and bolster ASI reserves.

While increases in student fees are not desirable, these fee proposals were thoughtfully considered by the ASI Senate, ASI Board of Control, and the Student Advisory Committee and determined to be absolutely necessary to give our students a first-class university experience. With these fee increases, CSULB will be the 16th least costly of the 23 CSU campuses. CSULB will remain among the nation's top best values in public colleges.

Private and External Support for CSULB

CSULB's 49er Foundation Endowment hit a milestone this year, surpassing $50 million. As CSULB seeks to maintain its status as one of the finest and low-cost public universities in the nation, our endowment is emerging as one of the single most important resources available. We are immensely grateful for the generous contributions provided by our many alumni and friends.

Research Foundation expenditures hit an all-time high in 2012-13, around $30 million, although with federal sequestration this is not expected to continue for 2013-14.

In Context

Although the state budget has stabilized, state investment in public universities may never reach levels of the past. California's fiscal support for higher education per $1,000 of personal income is roughly equal to the levels of state support provided in the 1960s, nearly a half century ago. Yet the CSU is serving 90,000 additional students. At CSULB, state appropriations account for only about 23% of our overall budget. As recently as 2009, state support accounted for 47% of the overall budget.

CSULB has emerged from several difficult budget years with its core mission intact, with record high graduation rates and degree award numbers and with many examples of continued excellence. This remarkable performance is attributable to the hard work of many, many faculty, students, staff, and administrators under difficult circumstances. We should all be very proud. I offer my gratitude to the campus for this commitment and my congratulations on these achievements.

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