INSIDE Chico State
0 December 13, 2001
Volume 32 Number 8
  A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico




From the President's Desk

Calendar of Events






From the President's Desk

Budget Update

Naomi Johnson Brilliant, Tod Brilliant, and Professor Emeritus Tom Johnson,

In recent weeks, I have received a number of inquiries regarding possible budget cuts for this year and for next academic year. Allow me to bring you up to date on recent developments and what may be in store.

On Nov. 7, 2001, Chancellor Reed sent a memorandum to CSU presidents notifying us that the Department of Finance had asked for a one-time reduction of $25 million for the CSU for this fiscal year. This represents a 1 percent cut for CSU, Chico. The chancellor also asked us to impose a partial hiring freeze that excludes tenure-track positions, effective immediately. He asked us to consider how we could meet cuts of 5 percent or more while still maintaining our commitment to essential projects as we develop our plans for next year.

Let me first address the 1 percent cut and the hiring freeze. The 1 percent cut represents for our campus about $1.1 million. We will be able to cover this from year-end savings. As to the hiring freeze, I have asked Provost McNall and Vice Presidents Graham and Moore to report to me on all staff and administrative positions for which they are recruiting and to determine which are absolutely essential to fill. I will review their hiring decisions with them.
I have asked the three vice presidents to prepare for a 6 percent cut for the next academic year. This represents a total of $6.5 million. I have also asked them to propose a number of scenarios, which will be reviewed and discussed by the University Budget Committee (UBC). To ensure broader consultation, Paul Persons, chair of the Academic Senate, and I have determined that we will expand membership of the UBC. One possibility is to add one department chair from each of the seven colleges.

I have also informed our Office of Admissions that every conceivable effort must be made to bring enrollment down to budgeted levels. You will recall that our budgeted target for 2001-2002 was 14,250 FTE. Instead, we ended up closer to 14,850. Our goal is to be at 14,345 FTE, which is our budgeted target for 2002-2003.

I believe that collectively we must strive to achieve three primary goals for 2002-2003: (1) to ensure that we offer sufficient courses so our students can continue to make progress toward graduation, (2) to avoid doing unnecessary damage to those programs and initiatives that are fundamental to our mission, and (3) ensure that our actions protect to the extent possible the members of our “CSU, Chico family.”

Between now and the time we will know what our final budget will be for 2002-2003, a lot will change. In fact, literally as I was writing this, I received another communication from the chancellor informing me that the Department of Finance has asked for an additional $10 million on top of the $25 million. This means that instead of the $1.1 million for CSU, Chico, it is now slightly over $1.5 million. We can anticipate further changes. You will hear all kinds of possible percentage cuts and all kinds of rumors. We will try to keep you abreast of all factual and confirmed information. Keep in mind that there are a number of factors that could eventually mitigate budget cuts. First, our economy could rebound, and thus state revenue could improve significantly, and, second, student fees could be increased—in fact, the legislative analyst has indicated that a 50 percent student fee increase is not out of the question. I do not believe this will occur, but fee increases will be on the table for discussion.

A lot can and will change between now and July 2002, when we ought to know what our budget will be. In the meantime, I encourage all of us to be patient and work together for the best possible outcome.

Manuel Esteban

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