The following e-mail message was
sent by President Robert A. Corrigan to SFSU faculty and staff on Dec.
Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues:
my recent budget Q&A e-mail to students, a number of faculty
and staff expressed interest in a similar update. If you attended one
October Town Hall meetings on the budget, you may be familiar with some
the information below. Much of it, however, reflects information we have
received more recently and campus-based planning that we have engaged
I want to emphasize that this is what we know and where we stand as of
December 2003. We can expect more news and numbers to emerge in January,
when the legislature reconvenes and the Governor releases his proposed
2004-05 budget. I will send you another budget update when we get
additional information. In the meanwhile, if you have budget questions
general interest that you would like to see incorporated into a future
please e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, whatever the budget picture, our dominant goal in planning
Francisco State's budget is preservation of the academic program
greatest extent possible. At the same time, we are well aware of the
of other areas of the University, and we are seeking to maintain a positive
working environment for all on campus. Keep that in mind as you review
following information, and have a joyous and peaceful holiday season.
Robert A. Corrigan
budget reductions is San Francisco State University dealing with
during the current academic year?
you are aware, the State's budget difficulties hit the California
University system hard in fiscal year 2003-04. The state reduced the
budget by $452.4 million and also asked it to absorb an additional $78.6
million in unfunded mandatory costs. San Francisco State's share
reductions and unfunded costs totaled $30.2 million. That represents
21% percent of our general fund budget.
Two things helped us cope with this. Our enrollment grew, which brought
more funds, and the 30% increase in the State University Fee voted in
the CSU Trustees also provided critically needed revenue. With these
additional revenue sources, we started planning for the 2003-04 year
net budget deficit of $14.1 million. For how we handled it, look at the
2. I had heard that the University made big budget reductions this year,
but I didn't notice a significant change in course offerings or
What was cut?
We saw these budget problems coming and began our intensive planning
this year 18 months ago. We saw 2003-04 as a transitional year -- one
which we could find ways to plug our $14.1 million budget gap for this
year, while starting to put bigger, permanent cuts in place for the coming
years, when we were quite sure the budget problem would be even greater.
We began with the goal I mentioned earlier: preserving the class schedule
and maintaining our academic commitment to our enrolled students. For
2003-04, we first drew on one-time revenue sources such as lottery reserves
and on new permanent revenue sources such as enrollment growth monies.
brought the year's $14.1 million shortfall down to $8.3 million.
Each major campus area -- Academic Affairs, Administration & Finance,
Executive, Student Affairs and Advancement - was asked to take a
that cut. Largely by reducing infrastructure and support services that
limited direct and immediate impact on students, these areas made one-time
reductions of $6.6 million. They also made $1.7 million in permanent
reductions. This fall, we also made the difficult decision to identify
begin the approval process to move selected general fund student support
units to fee-based support - more on this subject in question #8.
For this academic year, we have succeeded in protecting the class schedule.
We reduced summer course sections slightly, but we are offering very
the same number of fall and spring sections as last year (7296 sections
2002-03 compared with a projected 7102 sections for this fall and
spring). By the end of this fiscal year we will have exhausted available
reserves and one-time funding sources. Yet the budget crisis is far from
over, and we must plan for next year, and even beyond.
3. What reductions has the administration taken to help the campus absorb
When the first signs of serious budget problems appeared, we reorganized
top administration in order to reduce the number of vice presidents from
five to four. This change, while adding to the responsibilities and work
load of several vice presidents, has worked out well and produced ongoing
savings. We have a record of deliberately limiting MPP (Management
Personnel Plan) positions. As I mentioned in my August speech to the
faculty, despite fluctuations over the years, the number of MPPs is the
same as it was 16 years ago. This is especially notable because 13 of
so-called “administrators” are Development Officers, who
were not included
as MPPs in 1988.
4. To what extent did the recent student fee increases offset this year's
The 30% fee increase covered only $8.6 million of San Francisco State's
$30.2 million budget gap this year. Without the fee increase, we would
had to cut that much more, and we certainly would have had to make
significant cuts in the class schedule. By the way, Academic Affairs -
classes, faculty salaries, staff, the library and academic support services
- takes up about 63% of the University budget, so any substantial
going to have a significant effect on academic life.
5. I read that the Governor has just implemented mid-year budget
cuts. What does this mean to the CSU and to us?
On Dec. 18, the CSU received word that the Governor had used his mid-year
budget authority to reduce the CSU's 2003-04 budget by an additional
million. We and the CSU had been preparing for this reduction, and the
has informed us that our campus share is approximately $1.5 million.
Fortunately, we are going to be able to address this reduction completely
from unbudgeted fees generated by the enrollment increase the campus
experiencing this academic year. Therefore, we are going ahead with the
spring class schedule, though we may make minor adjustments to it. As
CSU had urged, the entire reduction is unallocated, meaning that CSU
campuses will not be required to cut outreach programs or EOP, as the
Governor had originally proposed. Chancellor Reed, I and the other CSU
presidents will continue to oppose such cuts strongly. (For the latest
CSU budget information, go to the Chancellor's Office "Budget
6. How are these budget cuts affecting staff and faculty hiring?
On Dec. 18, in response to two Executive Orders issued by the Governor,
Chancellor Reed imposed a system-wide hiring freeze. For us, this will
mean little change, because we established our own staff hiring
restrictions two years ago, requiring cabinet officer approval for all
staff hires and limiting new hiring to 7-month appointments. The notable
change for us now is the requirement that the president also approve
temporary and probationary appointments, temporary reappointments and
employment status changes that involve an expenditure or an increased
expenditure (increases in time base, salary -- including bonuses and
honoraria -- and so on). All changes in employment status must be requested
in writing and justified as essential to the educational mission of the
University (see 12/22
memo from AVP Denise Fox Needleman) These
requirements apply to both General Fund and non-General Fund (excluding
grant funded) positions, including administrators, staff, faculty, student
assistants and special consultants. However for faculty, we are able
continue with tenured and tenure-track searches in accordance with a
Chancellor's Office directive and collective bargaining provisions.
Reappointment of temporary employees will, of course, depend on next
7. What is the University's budget forecast for next year? Will
reductions be required?
As you know, the Governor and the State Legislature continue to grapple
with how to manage the State's monumental budget deficit. Whatever
decision, the CSU - and therefore San Francisco State - are
certain to face further reductions in funding.
But even before we learn about next year's budget, we know that
we have an
$11.2 million problem. This shortfall consists primarily of continued
new unfunded mandatory costs such as increases in our risk pool premium
certain bargained faculty pay increases (SSI's) that the University
required to expend, but given no money to pay for. Furthermore, we cannot
expect to get additional funds from an increase in our enrollment target,
as we did this year. And, as I noted earlier, our reserve funds will
As I mentioned, we have taken steps this year to move two units --
Counseling & Psychological Services and Athletics -- off the
using those funds to help close our budget gap. Counseling & Psychological
Services is now a part of Student Health Services, supported by the Student
Health Services fee. Next year, Athletics will continue to receive the
funding voted in by students in 1992, but not its $1.4 million state
allocation. We plan to put the Career Center on a self-support basis.
these changes and some planned permanent reductions in each major campus
area , we can reduce our $11.2 million shortfall to $2.9 million -
is, if the CSU receives no additional cuts for 2004-05.
To deal with that $2.9 million budget gap, we will need to go more deeply
into the University budget in ways that are bound to affect academic
offerings and/or we will need to develop campus sources of revenue.
8. What do you mean by campus sources of revenue? Is this connected with
the student fee referendum recently announced in the Xpress?
Yes it is. As the earlier answers have, I hope, made clear, we have
explored and exhausted all existing sources of funds in the course of
year's cuts. Because the Chancellor's Office has told the
campuses that in
the current funding climate they are not to increase enrollment in 2004-05,
we know that we cannot expect growth monies to help us out, as they did
this year. Our one positive possibility for new revenue lies with
campus-based student fees. We believe, and extensive conversations with
student groups have borne out, that faced with a choice between significant
loss of classes and services and modest campus fee increases, students
would choose the increase. Accordingly, a semester-long process, governed
by both campus and CSU policy, has culminated in a request from the Student
Fee Advisory Committee for an Advisory Student Referendum on a package
new fees. On March 2 and 3, 2004, all students will have the opportunity
to vote on fee proposals totaling $138 per semester. They include:
Academic Instruction ($75), Athletics and Recreation ($33 - increase),
Career Center ($14 ) and Student Health/Counseling & Psychological
($16 - increase). The outcome of such referenda is advisory both to the
campus president and to Chancellor Reed.
If enacted, these fees would enable us to avoid the loss of approximately
575 course sections next year, would maintain athletics and recreation
programs at their current level, and would ensure that the Career Center
and Counseling & Psychological Services can continue to serve the
they now do.
CSU and SFSU policy specify extensive circulation at least 30 days before
the vote of pro and con information regarding the fee proposals, so you
expect to see much more information around campus by the opening of the
9. When will we really know what next year's budget situation will
Here's a quick rundown of the 2004-05 state budget process as it
to function. As we know from years past, the legislature has often been
unable to reach agreement until well after the constitutional deadline
approval of the next year's budget. The earlier steps, however,
expected to proceed on schedule.
January: The State Constitution requires that the Governor submit a
balanced budget to the legislature by January 10, giving us our first
at his 2004-05 proposal for the CSU.
February: The non-partisan state Legislative Analyst will release her
analysis of the Governor's budget; the Senate Budget and Fiscal
Committee and the Assembly Budget Committee will be meeting on the budget;
CSU campuses expect to receive preliminary allocations from the
Chancellor's Office, so that we can begin to plan for 2004-05.
March/April: Legislative budget subcommittees will hold hearings and
public reaction to the budget. This will be the CSU's opportunity
to proposed allocations and to work for any changes it would like to
the Governor's May Revision and update of the budget.
May/June (and perhaps beyond) : Senate/Assembly conference committee
work to reach agreement on the budget.
June 15: Constitutional deadline for the legislature to pass the budget.
Obviously, we will be following closely, and planning carefully, as the
budget adoption process runs its course. While we cannot know when the
2004-05 budget will be in place, we will be planning, starting in January,
applying all the unfolding information to our plans.
10. What effect would that budget shortfall - and possible additional
cuts - have on class sections next year?
If Academic Affairs absorbs the entire $2.9 million shortfall currently
projected for 2004-05, approximately 575 class sections will be canceled.
Further cuts to the campus budget beyond the initial $11.2 million will
result in additional section cancellations.
11. Who determines which class sections are cut? Will class size be
increased to help make up for reduced sections?
The college deans, in consultation with their department chairs and
faculty, will ultimately decide which class sections to cancel. To
compensate for the reduced number of classes, class sizes will most likely
increase. However, not all classes can accommodate additional students
(laboratory, computer, writing, etc.), and even for classes that can,
is a limit to the increase before the student learning experience is
compromised. Consequently, class availability and access will eventually
12. Is there any danger that campus programs or departments may face
No University programs or departments are being considered for elimination
as part of the current budget reductions.
13. How are decisions concerning the budget and possible budget reductions
made at San Francisco State University?
The University Budget Committee, a 17-member group with faculty, Academic
Senate, staff and student representation, which I chair, meets throughout
the year to discuss and advise on overall budget issues and to review
advise on the budgets prepared for the University as a whole and the
individual major divisions. UBC meetings are announced in CampusMemo
are open to the University community.
Once budget allocations are determined by area (Academic Affairs, Student
Affairs, etc.), the vice presidents allocate funds to the areas they
supervise, and departments determine - in consultation with the
appropriate vice president or dean - how best to use their funds.
For the academic units, allocations are made by College, and then from
dean to the academic departments. Faculty, working with their department
chair, have a voice in the choices that the department makes about the