San Francisco State University

President Corrigan's ViewPoint

ViewPoint by President Corrigan is published in First Monday for the faculty and staff at SFSU on the first Monday of the month during the fall and spring semesters by the Public Affairs and Publications offices. EXT 8-1665.

February 3, 2003

We start the second half of the academic year with a major shared concern: the effect of state budget cuts on the University. Although a final 2003-2004 budget is months away, I would like to share our best current information with you now, giving you the figures we are working with and a sense of how we are planning for the coming year.

First, though, a word about the current year's budget. At the beginning of the fiscal year, we took our share -- approximately $2.2 million -- of a system wide $43 million reduction. Then, all campuses were informed in December that they faced an additional mid-year cut. Our pro rata share of this $59.6 reduction was slightly less than $3.5 million. Partially offsetting these cuts are projected spring revenues of $1.4 million from the fee increases and an $843,000 FTES augmentation, leaving us with a shortfall of $1,225,600. Because we foresaw from the start of the current fiscal year that additional budget cuts were likely, we have worked all year to achieve savings. The limits on administrative and staff hiring are part of that effort. Through continuing and year-end economies, we will balance our budget.

Significantly, we are going forward with new tenure-track searches. They are a clear priority as we seek to maintain our academic quality and momentum in these difficult times. We also have been able to maintain the spring class schedule.

The coming year will clearly be more difficult. Later this week, we expect to receive our 2003-2004 budget allocation from the Chancellor's Office. It is based on the Governor's budget, which currently calls for a total of $447.7 in reductions to the CSU: $326 million in general fund cuts, $78.6 million in unfunded mandatory costs (such as increased health insurance premiums), and $43 million achieved by making permanent the reduction we took at the beginning of this year.

The Governor identified several specific general fund cuts, including Student Services (20 %), outreach programs (50%), the CalTeach and Bilingual Teacher recruitment programs (eliminated), the Center for California Studies (50%), and $58 million from Academic and Institutional Support. His budget further calls for increasing the CSU student-faculty ratio from 18.9 to 19.9 to 1, for a $53.5 million saving.

In this budget, the Governor also assumes two proposed sources of increased CSU revenue: State funding for a 7% enrollment increase and additional State University Fee increases of 25% for undergraduates and 20% for graduate students ($396/year and $348/year, respectively, for full-time students). As you know, one-third of any fee increase is set aside for financial aid, to increase the funding for State University Grants.

With the Governor's initial budget in hand, and knowing San Francisco State's pro rata share of the CSU general fund budget, we have projected our estimated cuts and final 2003-2004 budget. Starting from San Francisco State's share -- roughly $26 million -- of the system wide cut, we added back the income from a 130 FTES augmentation we received this year and full-year revenues from this spring's State University Fee increase. That total of almost $3 million reduces our projected shortfall to $22.6 million. When we add in potential revenue from the 2003-2004 student fee increase proposed by the Governor, we close the gap by another $6.3 million. At that point, our projected budget shortfall for next year would stand at $16.2 million. Another possible offset is revenue from an increase in our budgeted enrollment. This could net us $7 million after we have allocated funds to Academic Affairs for additional class sections. Thus, our total shortfall could range from some $9 million-very much a best-case scenario-to one in excess of $16 million.

None of this, of course, is close to final information. Nonetheless, as we do every year, we must make a number of key decisions -- the class schedule chief among them -- before we have a final budget. We expect the campus to have a number of questions about our budget planning, and so in the next few weeks, Vice Presidents Morishita, Gemello and I will hold budget-briefing sessions for faculty and staff. These sessions will afford ample opportunity to express concerns, get answers, and offer ideas as we go forward.

A decade ago, we faced hard budget times. However, I see one immensely important difference between then and now. We are, I believe, a more unified community, with leadership from the department level, through the college deans, to the President's Cabinet that is positive-spirited, mutually respectful, and exceedingly able. The one thing I can promise you in this difficult and stressful period is frankness and facts. You will hear plenty of both in the months ahead.

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Last modified January 3, 2003, by the Office of Public Affairs