In light of California's budget crisis, Cal Poly Pomona is providing updates on how the university is working to protect its campus community as well as preserve the quality of the education it offers.
The State's Cash Situation and IOUs
The state controller has projected there will be insufficient cash available to meet all expenditures in the 2008-09 budget because the Legislature and the governor have been unable to reach a solution on the budget deficit. Hence the state controller's office will be forced to pursue payment deferrals or issue registered warrants–also known as “IOUs” — as early as Feb. 1. Payments to education have first claim to available state general fund cash. Combined with prudent management of all available resources at Cal Poly Pomona, the university expects that employees will continue to be paid.
Funding Cal Grants
Due to the state's impending cash flow crisis, the state controller and the California Student Aid Commission have informed higher education institutions of possible delays in the payment of Cal Grant A and B awards for the spring 2009 term. The university is strongly committed to providing financial aid to its students. It will take the unusual step of deferring the collection of the state university fee for students who experience delays receiving Cal Grants from the California Student Aid Commission. This action is to ensure that Cal Poly Pomona's financially neediest students, who rely on Cal Grant A and B awards to cover their state university fee, will be able to enroll for the spring 2009 term.
In addition, Cal Grant B recipients receive a stipend from the state. While these students will receive their federal Pell Grant awards and other financial aid, some students still may face financial hardship for the spring 2009 quarter. In these cases, Cal Poly Pomona will step up to provide short-term emergency loans to needy students on a case-by-case basis, provided students have exhausted alternative funding.
Several state agencies have reported they will begin implementing the governor's December executive order for furloughs two days a month on Feb. 1. The governor's furlough plan applies only to state Civil Service Employees under the State Employer-Employee Relations Act (The Dills Act) and does not apply to CSU employees. However, the governor's executive order requests that the CSU, the University of California, the California Community Colleges and other state entities implement similar measures to achieve budget and cash savings for the current and next fiscal year. The CSU is not planning furloughs at this time and has implemented several cost-savings measures including: limiting student enrollment for fall 2009; freezing the salaries of vice presidents, vice chancellors, presidents and the chancellor; restricting travel; canceling equipment and supply purchases; and filling only essential positions.
It is difficult to say when and how the legislature and the governor will resolve the budget crisis. Cal Poly Pomona has been planning how to maintain operations under several different scenarios. The university's leaders have committed to do everything they can to protect students, faculty and staff and to preserve the quality of the university. However, the longer the state delays reaching a budget compromise, the more at risk the university will become to deeper budget cuts that will significantly impact programs, services, payroll and personnel. Employees will receive ongoing updates as news develops.