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Budget update -- August 2004

NOTE: The following e-mail message was sent by President Robert A. Corrigan to SFSU faculty and staff on August 4, 2004.

Dear Colleagues:

The signing of the state budget means both good news for us and some positive changes in the budget information I shared with you in late May. The good news is a $40.3 million restoration to the CSU of the funds cut in the Governor's January budget. We calculate that for San Francisco State University, that will mean about $3 million in additional funds. We will use those dollars to offer more class sections and to close the $800,000 gap that remained in the Academic Affairs budget, even after program discontinuations and other major cuts. As a result of this restoration, we are now able to offer the same number of sections this fall as in fall 2003.

Nonetheless, $3 million is a small figure compared with the $31 million reduction in our budget over two years. Furthermore, we know that the state’s long-term budget difficulties are far from over. That is why you will find much of this message familiar. Much as we would wish to, we cannot back away from the cuts and reduction strategies we developed during the past year.

Because my earlier budget messages are still posted on the University's Budget Update Web site, I will summarize, rather than repeat in detail, the key budget information I shared with you in late May, and emphasize the few pieces of additional information.

Faculty and staff: We have been able to preserve all tenured and tenure-track faculty positions and all permanent and probationary staff, although we have cut back on management staffing. We now have fewer temporary staff and fewer lecturers than last fall. Because of program reductions, eight staff members have been or are being moved to new posts.

Student fee increases: The system wide news has not changed since the Board of Trustees voted in May to increase the State University Fee (SUF), effective this fall, by 14% for undergraduates, 25% for graduate students, and 20% for credential candidates. Our campus-based fee total also has risen slightly. As a result of the student fee referendum, the Instructionally Related Activities (IRA) fee will rise by $40 per semester and the Student Health Services fee by $16 per semester, effective this fall.

The IRA increase responds to the spirit of the referendum, in which students overwhelmingly supported a $75 new Academic Fee to maintain classes. While Chancellor Reed did not approve the proposed new fee, he did provide us with some short-term funding assistance and encouraged us to raise an existing fee. Thus, we have been able to close the $2.9 million budget gap that prompted the referendum. Our fall class schedule is 575 classes larger than it would have been without this campus fee increase. These funds are also allowing us to maintain the Career Center and Counseling & Psychological Services.

The 2004-05 fee total, including both the State University Fee and campus fees, is $2,880 for a full-time SFSU undergraduate, $3,366 for a full-time graduate student, and $3,252 for a full-time credential candidate. For part-time fees and more detailed fee information, see the Bursar's Web site.

Enrollment: While we did close fall 2004 admissions somewhat earlier this year, we were able to accept all first time freshmen and upper division transfer students who applied by the deadline and met admissions requirements. We are extremely pleased that we did not have to deny access to any qualified student. In fact, we anticipate that we will have the largest number of first-time freshmen in our history.

Program discontinuance/suspension/move to self-support: Notwithstanding the good news, the cuts we have taken over the last several years and the state's continuing deficit mean that we still need to make the budget cuts that you have learned about over the spring. This includes proposed discontinuance or suspension of some academic programs and eventual move of others to self-support. Current students in these programs will be protected, able to complete their work and, for those in self-support programs, able to finish while paying the state fees.

In my first campus wide budget message of the past academic year, I emphasized our two main goals: preservation of the academic program to the greatest extent possible and maintenance of a positive working environment for all on campus. I believe that, through widespread consultation, involvement and cooperation from all areas of the campus, we have in large measure achieved our goals. Best of all, we have done so while maintaining a positive spirit, a spirit of community.

-- Robert A. Corrigan, president


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Last modified August 4, 2004 by University Communications