|February 14, 2002
Volume 32 Number 10
|A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico|
From the President's Desk
I hope everyone had a joyful and restful break. Gloria and I had a great time in Canada with our family.
In my last column I brought you up to date on the budget situation and promised that I would keep you abreast of any significant developments. I also indicated that we would have a better idea of what was in store for the CSU once the governor gave his State of the State speech and provided us with a detailed budget. We now have his proposed budget. This is what we know at this point:
1. The state still seems to be faced with a $12.4 billion shortfall.
2. Through creative bookkeeping and through agreements with a number of entities, including PERS, the governor has managed to reduce this staggering amount to a more manageable figure. This means, however, that part of the debt will be pushed forward to be paid during the next fiscal year.
3. To our great surprise and delight, the governorís budget is much better than we could ever have anticipated. It contains the following:
Although I am cautiously optimistic, I still believe that we need to be ready for further possible reductions. Keep in mind that the May Revise generally brings forth changes to the proposed budget submitted by the governor and that these changes generally take away rather than add to the allocations. Further, every expert expects that before a final budget is signed into law, there will be political battles that will modify significantly even what will emerge from the May Revise. Needless to say, not every legislator is pleased with what the governor has proposed nor with how he expects to meet the state debt.
I have, therefore, asked the three vice presidents to continue to plan for possible cuts and to prepare for a 3 percent and a 5 percent reduction. My hope, of course, is that we will not have any further reduction. Should it occur, however, we will be ready.
In light of the relative good news, the provost and the deans will reconsider some of the decisions they made regarding the freezing of tenure-track positions. We will also analyze all the other staff and administrative positions now vacant or filled on an interim basis to determine whether we should proceed with searches.
Let us all hope that the economy will continue to improve so that the governorís budget turns out to be the worst we will see, and we can continue our efforts to become an even better institution.
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