A Message to All CSU Employees:
This week the California State University will make an unprecedented decision regarding student's admission to the CSU's 23 campuses. The CSU's Board of Trustees and senior leaders will discuss whether or not to declare a systemwide impaction, a move that will require the CSU to restrict access to some students.
Why is such a move necessary? For several years, the CSU has provided access to more students while funding and resources from the state have remained static, and in some years, actually declined. In fact, the CSU this year is serving 10,000 students for whom the state provides no funding. This imbalance cannot continue. Admitting students without the resources necessary to provide the courses and services they need to successfully manage and complete their education is not fair to students, or to the faculty and staff members who support them. In the end, all stakeholders (students, faculty and staff, taxpayers and employers) lose when quality is compromised.
The CSU is facing significant funding reductions to its current budget which is already $215 million below our operational needs. Gov. Schwarzenegger proposes reducing the CSU's current year budget by $97.6 million which includes an earlier requested $31.3 million one-time reduction. These cuts come as the state tries to close an estimated $11.2 billion deficit.
At the same time, applications for fall 2009 are up almost 20 percent from last year with a 36 percent increase in applications from community college transfer students. Student demand is increasing while state funding is declining. This has created a significant challenge, the magnitude of which the CSU has not faced before.
When access and quality are threatened, we must take action. The CSU is committed to serving students and to serving them well. This is demonstrated in the outstanding work all of you do every day to support our students. But without adequate funding and with continued reductions to our budget, we can no longer provide the courses and services students need to assure their success, unless we manage enrollment to funded levels.
This will not be an easy decision. But it is one that is necessary if we are to preserve the CSU's mission and its goal of providing access to an excellent education. We must continue to publicly advocate for higher education. All members of the CSU family–students, parents, faculty and staff, labor unions, alumni, donors and supporters–need to remind our legislators, our business and community leaders, our neighbors and friends, that for every $1 the state invests in the CSU, the CSU returns $4.41. The CSU provides the majority of the workforce in California and helps sustain more than 200,000 jobs in the state each year. Investing in the CSU is a winning proposition for every resident of California.
If you would like to read about the specific details of systemwide impaction, see the Board of Trustees Agenda item at www.calstate.edu/bot/agendas/Nov08/EdPol.pdf (scroll to the third page). As the Trustees meeting takes place this week, I encourage you to check www.calstate.edu for the latest developments and to subscribe to our newsletter CSU Leader at www.calstate.edu/CSULeader.
Thank you for the work you do everyday in support of the California State University.
Chancellor Charles B. Reed