CSUDH Update from President García:
July 22, 2009
I have promised to keep you informed about budget-related developments and how state budget cuts will impact our campus as soon as details are available. I know many of you are very concerned about the financial challenges facing the CSU and how these will affect you, your workload and your employment, as well as what the impact will be on student access and the quality of education provided at CSU Dominguez Hills. These are concerns that I and the cabinet share.
Yesterday, the CSU Board of Trustees finalized a four-pronged plan to manage a $584 million budget deficit that includes furloughs for employees, a fee increase for students, enrollment reductions for the next two years, and additional campus budget reductions.
At CSU Dominguez Hills, we must cut $17.4 million in addition to the $3.8 million already cut from the 2009-10 budget – the largest budget reduction in our history. Given the magnitude of the deficit, no single solution is sufficient and the reduction will significantly impact our operations.
Below is an overview of how the CSU plan will be implemented on our campus at this point in time:
Student Fee Increase
CSU Dominguez Hills will implement a student fee increase that was approved by the CSU Board of Trustees yesterday. Fees will increase $672 for full-time undergraduate students and $828 for graduate students in fall 2009. Undergraduate students will pay $4,026 and graduate students fees will be $4,962. While this increase is difficult, CSU remains one of the least expensive four-year public university options in America.
One-third of the fee increase will be set aside for financial aid. This set-aside, as well as increases in financial aid included in the federal stimulus package, is expected to cover the fee increase for 187,000 of CSU’s 450,000 total students. The CSU also expects to receive an additional $81million in Pell Grant awards for its neediest students. In addition, federal tax credits, increased work study and student loan improvements will offset the fee increase for many students. Financial aid and federal tax credits will also be available for many other students, including those with family incomes of up to $180,000.
At CSU Dominguez Hills it is important that we share with students that, despite the increase, attaining a college degree is still possible. We sent a letter in both English and Spanish to current and prospective students and it can be found on the campus website. We all need to make sure we are communicating this message to our students.
Student Enrollment Changes
Statewide, the CSU will reduce enrollment by 40,000 students over the next two years and has closed enrollment for winter and spring 2010 in an attempt to enroll only as many students for which the state provides funding.
At a time when CSU Dominguez Hills has reached enrollment targets for the first time since 2002, we will strive to enroll as many students as the state will fund. This means that we plan to maintain our projected enrollment numbers for fiscal year 2009-10.
Because employee salaries and benefits make up 85 percent of the CSU’s operating budget, the CSU has proposed to furlough all 47,000 of its employees (except public safety personnel) to reduce spending by $275 million and to preserve jobs. Furloughs are temporary and do not affect employment status, health benefit eligibility or retirement benefits.
The CSU Board of Trustees approved changes to state regulations that will allow management (MPP) and non-represented employees to take 24 unpaid furlough days between Aug. 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010. At CSU Dominguez Hills, furloughs will be implemented for MPPs beginning August 1. A furlough plan and calendar is being developed and will be distributed as soon as it is finalized.
The CSU is still in the process of negotiating furloughs with several of its labor unions. The California State University Employees Union (CSUEU) and the United Physicians and Dentists (UPD) have ratified a furlough agreement that will be implemented in August. The California Faculty Association (CFA) is polling its members on a furlough option. The CSU is in the process of negotiating furloughs with the Academic Professionals of California (APC). The remaining unions have opted for layoffs per their contracts.
Chancellor Reed announced a deadline of July 28 at 5 p.m. for unions who have not reached a final agreement on furloughs so campuses have time to prepare for the new academic year which begins August 24. I will keep you apprised as we have more information.
Even after accounting for expenditure reductions from employee furloughs and revenue from student fee increases, CSU Dominguez Hills will need to cut an additional $8.2 million from our 2009-10 budget. We have already implemented a number of cost cutting measures including a salary and hiring freeze, travel and purchasing restrictions, and energy-saving workplace temperature adjustments. I have asked the leadership of our institution to develop an overall campus plan and requested college-specific plans from the deans. These are a work-in-progress and include the feedback of the Academic Senate and others.
As I have stated before, the CSU Dominguez Hills campus community is resilient. I know that with a concerted effort, we will come through these tough financial times. Now more than ever, it is critical to stay focused on our strategic planning and remain mission-focused as we align our expenses with reduced state funding to become a leaner and more efficient organization. We will need to keep the lines of communication open, and not only look for ways to cut costs, but look for ways to generate income for the University.
Your voice is important, and we want to hear from you. Please address any questions, concerns, and comments relating to our current budget situation and the impact to your area through the appropriate channels up to the Vice President. You can also send suggestions and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All budget updates as well as other resources are posted regularly on the campus Budget Central webpage and CSU budget information is available on the CSU Budget Central webpage. Please visit those sites for more information.
Thank you for your hard work and commitment to our students and our University. This institution makes a real difference in the community and in the lives of our students because of you – our extraordinary faculty and staff. We will need to continue to work together and strive to maintain a positive and productive work and learning environment. As we weather the financial storm, our kindness to each other and unity will serve to underscore the commitment CSU Dominguez Hills has made to our most important asset – the students who are the future leaders of our region and nation.