Message from President Corrigan
the barrage of negative budget news coming out of Sacramento,
it is easy to lose sight of the good things that are still going forward.
Despite system-wide belt tightening, the California State University has
so far been able to maintain both affordability and access to a high-quality
university education for the qualified students who turn to it in growing
numbers. Even after the recent 30 percent increase in the State University
Fee, CSU students still pay less than their counterparts at any comparable
public university in the country.
San Francisco State remains one of the country's finest public, urban
universities, turning out highly skilled graduates who will help lead
California into a new era of prosperity and growth. As an institution,
we already contribute mightily to the California economy. A newly released
analysis by SFSU's Michael Potepan, associate professor of economics,
found that in one year alone, San Francisco State contributed nearly $1.2
billion to the San Francisco Bay Area economy while supporting about 15,150
jobs through direct and indirect spending. More than a university, San
Francisco State, with 29,686 students and 3,276 employees, is a vital
and vibrant part of the region's and state's economy.
In past months, we have showcased the University's stellar alumni, faculty
and students in a series of ads in the San Francisco Chronicle
and San Francisco Business Times. (You can view them from the
SF State News Web site, www.sfsu.edu/~news.)
In this issue of SFSU Magazine we profile others who you may
be surprised to learn are members of the SFSU family -- KQED radio host
Michael Krasny, "Under the Tuscan Sun" author Frances Mayes,
and Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat.
I do not wish to minimize the difficult times we are facing. The state's
fiscal crisis has hit the CSU hard, forcing painful increases in fees
and limits on enrollment. But confronted with a $14.1 million budget deficit
at the beginning of the academic year, San Francisco State immediately
went to work to find ways to absorb this financial blow while causing
the least disruption to students' academic lives. Through intensive planning
and carefully targeted spending cuts, we managed to preserve the vast
majority of class sections and student services.
With the state budget outlook worsening, deeper cuts at San Francisco
State are inevitable. With this in mind, we are already taking steps to
pare our spending further while also looking at ways to increase revenue
and move units toward self-sufficiency, wherever possible. These are indeed
challenging times. But California has weathered boom-and-bust cycles in
the past and will do so again. In the meantime, San Francisco State will
continue to do what it does best: providing access to high-quality education
at an affordable price.