|Chancellor Charles B. Reed|
Welcome to a new academic year at the California State University. I hope that you all had an enjoyable summer term and are returning with renewed energy and enthusiasm for the academic year ahead. I wanted to take this opportunity to give you a brief update on the CSU budget developments that occurred over the summer.
At the end of July, our state policymakers reached a final budget agreement that provides $2.448 billion to the CSU. This total represents $40.3 million more than we had originally thought we would receive. It includes $33.3 million that will allow us to serve 7,500 students whom we initially thought we would have to turn away. In addition, the budget provides $7 million in General Fund dollars that will allow us to restore funds to academic preparation and CSU outreach programs, as well as the Educational Opportunity Program.
Altogether we are left with a net reduction and unfunded mandatory costs totaling $157 million for 2004/05. While this is a steep reduction, it represents a smaller amount than we had anticipated, and we expect to be able to weather it with the promise of better news on the horizon.
The higher education compact that the CSU and the University of California signed with the governor played a pivotal role in reaching this budget agreement. While we deeply appreciate the support given to the CSU late in the legislative session, without the compact, this funding recovery would have not occurred this year.
Thanks to the compact agreement, we are planning to admit another 10,000 students in the 2005/06 academic year. The compact also promises us an increase of 3 percent to our state General Fund base budget to fund mandatory costs and faculty and staff compensation. After several years with budget cuts and no change in salaries, it will be good to be able to make up some of the ground we lost during the states budget crisis. Moreover, the compact will serve as a foundation – not a ceiling – with the possibility of funding beyond the compact.
We have already begun planning for the 2005/06 CSU budget, which is scheduled to be voted on by the trustees at the end of October. I urge you to visit the CSU web page, www.calstate.edu and click on CSU Budget Central for more news and updates as the process goes forward. If you would like to receive regular weekly updates on CSU news by e-mail, I urge you to sign up for the CSU Leader newsletter at www.calstate.edu/csuleader.
I wish you all the best for a fulfilling academic year ahead. Thank you for all that you do for the California State University.
Charles B. Reed