SF State News {University Communications}

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Update on Budget and State University Fee

Note: the following e-mail was sent on 11/15/10 to all students, faculty, and staff.


Dear colleague:

I am sharing with you a version of an e-mail that I sent to all students yesterday. It contains information that I am sure is of interest to each of you – and a call to action that none of us can ignore. I look forward to working with you again this year as we address the dual priorities of operating successfully within a restrictive budget and making the case among elected officials for increased funding.

Dear student:

Last month, I wrote you with the good news that the newly passed California budget included an increase of $365.6 million for the California State University -- a partial restoration of the cuts we have taken in the last several years. Yet that budget lacked one key allocation the CSU had requested: funding equal to a five percent State University Fee (SUF) increase -- a "buy out" that would spare students. Without that five percent funding, CSU campus budgets were left unbalanced. And so last week the CSU Board of Trustees most reluctantly approved a five percent fee increase, effective spring 2011, as well as a potential 10 percent increase for the 2011-2012 academic year. I say "potential" because the board will work hard to persuade the California Legislature to provide enough funds to "buy out" the fee increase.

I know that this midyear fee raise will be difficult for many of you. Even though financial aid will increase along with the SUF, many of you will struggle to cover your educational and personal bills.

Still, you -- and students seeking to enroll at SF State -- are going to get some important, tangible benefits from this increase. A balanced budget will allow us to add more course sections and seats, and to admit additional new students. We currently project that we will offer 300 more sections next spring than we did a year ago and will be able to admit 1,700 to 1,800 more undergraduates, most of them upper-division transfer students. All of you need to be able to get into the classes that will speed you toward graduation, and so we are adding class sections strategically, targeting areas in which we see pent-up demand, so that you can increase your unit load and progress toward graduation.

The midyear increase of five percent will go into effect for the spring 2011 semester, and the 10 percent increase for the 2011-12 academic year would become effective for fall 2011. These increases will cost a full-time undergraduate student $105 more for the spring 2011 semester; $444 more for the 2011-12 academic year. Detailed information about spring fees is now available on the Bursar's website: http://www.sfsu.edu/~bursar/

The Board of Trustees chose to authorize a 2011-12 increase this far ahead in order to give students and parents ample notice to plan. But we need not -- and must not -- simply sit still. The 2011-12 CSU Support Budget request approved by the board asks the governor and the legislature to buy out the 10 percent student fee increase with state funds, which would allow the CSU to rescind it. We discovered last spring how effectively we can advocate for higher education. A CSU-wide effort that was developed here at SF State and emulated throughout the system brought a strong coalition of students, faculty, administrators, parents and alumni together to lobby the legislature and governor. And we saw the result: in a year where many state agencies saw major cuts, the CSU received a multi-million dollar increase.

We need to mount such an effort again. You can expect to hear from our Education Budget Advocacy Committee (EBAC), a group led by our Government Relations office and including faculty and staff unions, the Academic Senate, Associated Students leadership, political science faculty and our Institute for Community and Civic Engagement.

Together, we will voice our support for public higher education and let our elected officials know that we are depending on them to help keep the CSU affordable by buying out the 10 percent fee increase scheduled for 2011-12.


-- Robert A. Corrigan, president

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