SF State News {University Communications}

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A few words about the worsening state budget picture

Note: the following e-mail was sent on 5/5/09 to all faculty and staff.


Dear Colleagues:


At last week’s Academic Senate meeting, Vice President Morishita and Provost Gemello gave an update on the state budget. I feel that the information they presented is important and timely enough to be shared with all of you. We cannot say at this point what this state budget news will mean to the CSU and SF State; nonetheless, these are facts of which you should be aware.

As you have no doubt read, California’s budget situation continues to worsen. In mid-March, the Legislative Analyst reported that state revenues were going to fall $8 billion below the budget assumptions for 2009-10. We have just learned that the state faces an additional $2 billion shortfall in the current fiscal year, because April tax collections are far below expectations. And should the budget propositions on the May 19 special election ballot fail, $5.8 billion in additional revenue will disappear. In short, what was until recently an $8 billion shortfall has now increased to $10 billion and will increase further to a $16 billion shortfall if the propositions do not pass.

For the CSU, the $66.3 million permanent budget reduction taken this year in the February budget was increased for 2009/10 by an additional $50 million, then reduced to a $36.5 million cut because the state has received some federal stimulus dollars on a one-time basis.

Ordinarily, we would expect the May Revise – the governor's updated budget – in a few days. But because the May 19 election is so critical and because the revenue picture continues to change, Governor Schwarzenegger is delaying the revision of the February budget till May 28.

That is the point at which we will begin to learn how the CSU and SF State will be affected. I expect additional cuts and additional hardships for us. For now, we have a plan in place to handle our share of the original $66.3 million CSU cut, as well as the $36.5 million reduction, through a range of economies, including -- as reported in the current CampusMemo -- deferring the College of Education dean search, holding off on other non-critical hiring, reducing of the class schedule, and limiting travel.

I cannot realistically conclude this message with reassurance that we are going to come through these budget times unscathed. I can, however, look to our history of communicating openly and working through hard choices together, and remind you that we on this campus have often been at our best when most challenged. I am confident that we will draw on that spirit in the months to come.


--Robert A. Corrigan, president


For related budget news, visit http://www.sfsu.edu/~news/2009/summer/15.html

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