President Mike Ortiz

Greetings …

On Saturday, Aug. 2, Governor Davis signed our state budget for the 2003-04 fiscal year. While it is a welcome relief to finally have a budget in place, it still reflects the most severe budget cut in the history of The California State University. Virtually all faculty, staff and students in the system will feel the crunch. It is an understatement to say that we are in the midst of some very challenging times.

The status of the state economy does have a real-life effect on our university. I wanted to share with you the most current information on how Cal Poly Pomona's state budget has been impacted and what we are doing to mitigate any severe loss of services for our students.

We are anticipating a $25 million cut from last year's state allocation (13 percent system-wide). This is being offset in the following ways:

  • $8 million in revenue from the increase in student fees
  • $5 million from the state to fund student growth
  • Over $12 million that was set aside over the past two years by our leadership team in anticipation of the severe cut.

Based on the serious budget shortfall we are facing, I also decided to slow enrollment growth for this year. Growth will be curbed from 3.2 percent to 2.7 percent by closing enrollment for spring quarter 2004. It is important that we provide our enrolled students with the best possible education, so I elected to relieve some of the pressure that additional students would bring this academic year.

Thanks to the efforts of the University Budget Advisory Council (UBAC) and our leadership team, we have been able to protect permanent positions and programs for this year.

But we are not out of the woods. The picture will be more serious in 2004-05 because the legislature has asked us to plan for zero enrollment growth. That means that if the budget crisis continues, the CSU will only replace the students who graduate or leave the system but will not accommodate student growth.

It is difficult to predict the future of the state economy, but I want you to know that I am committed to keeping everyone informed in the best possible way. One way will be a transition to a more transparent budget process, involving a wide sector of the campus community.

Despite this troubling economic news, I am very optimistic about Cal Poly Pomona. This university enjoys an extraordinary team of faculty and staff. Let's work together to find creative ways to enhance the academic experience for all our students.

Mike Ortiz