Presidentís Scholars Competition Day A Success

President's convocation address
President Esteban talks with faculty members before his
convocation speech. (photo KM)
Welcome to the 1999-2000 academic year, and a special welcome to the 52 new tenure-track and 14 temporary faculty and 40 staff who have joined us.

We also have two new deans, Dr. Charles Crabb, Dean of the College of Agriculture, and Dr. Heikki Rinne, Dean of the College of Business. Also, Dr. Walt Schafer has assumed the interim dean position in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

As we start this academic year, we will face a number of emerging challenges.It is important to me that all of us, as a university community, understand what they are and what each will ask from us in the year, or years, to come. In this space, I only have room to highlight the major ones and to say a few words about the budget. For more detail on these issues and an impressive and extensive list of kudos, I urge you to go to my website at http://www.csuchico.edu/prs/welcome/convocation.html

Compact II. The CSU system is working with the Governor and the legislature to forge a new four-year compact. The main components of this new compact are (1) a 4% annual funding increase, (2) a general fund revenue increase in lieu of 10% student fee rate increase, (3) lease bond payments, (4) funding enrollment growth at 4%, and (5) closing the CPEC salary gap. It is important to note that the new compact would carry with it resource accountability.

Cornerstones. We must begin to implement Cornerstones, something we can do with little difficulty because of the past hard work in Academic Affairs

Collaborative Management System. One of the major challenges will be what is known as the CMS initiative. It is extremely important that I share with you some of the salient facts about it, as it is an undertaking that will affect the entire CSU, Chico community.

• What is it? CMS is a massive effort that will replace our administrative information systems in the areas of Human Resources, Financial Management, and Student Information with new PeopleSoft software.

• Why are we doing it? (1) Computer systems grow old and need replacement. (2) CMS seeks to take advantage of the synergy and cost savings that can be achieved by the CSU working as a system. (3) This project has been in the making for a long time. Chancellor Reed recently announced that all CSU campuses will participate in the CMS project, and do so expeditiously. (4) Prior to the Chancellor's announcement, we analyzed our ability to conduct a PeopleSoft implementation as planned by the CMS initiative. The results indicated that a number of benefits can be expected from this project, but that campus resources are currently lacking for a project of this magnitude.

• How much will it cost, when will we start, and how long will it take? CSU, Chico paid an assessment of $117,000 for fiscal year 1998-99, and $234,000 for 1999-2000 to cover the costs of licensing the PeopleSoft product and creating a CSU version of it. We have set aside another $533,000 to cover our own costs to do the preparatory work. Between what we have paid the system office for licensing and what we will spend ourselves, the total bill for this year will be $767,000.

We will begin to implement this project in earnest around January of 2001, although significant preparatory work is already underway. At that time, the estimated annual cost to the campus will be more than $2.5 million, which will continue throughout the 4-5 years of implementation, for a total of no less than $12 to $15 million, with continuing support costs. .

We must also acknowledge the cost in terms of human resources and possibly lost opportunities. Other worthwhile campus and CSU system projects will have to wait for CMS to be fully implemented. Furthermore, the workload on existing campus staff will be, frankly, enormous.

• What are the benefits? Students will receive more timely access to information and services. Faculty and staff will have greatly enhanced tools and information in support of student advising and time relief resulting from more efficient administrative processes.

Budget Let me present an abridged version. You can get more details from Vice President Graham's office.

Increased funding over last year: $9,458,000

From this we need to subtract the following:

Compensation increases and benefits4,761,000 Campus reserve 200,000

Our share of systemwide CMS 234,000 This year's campus CMS allocation 533,000

Sub-total 5,728,000

Total available for distribution after the above mandatory costs 3,730,000

Of this, Student Affairs and Advancement received 420,000

Business and Finance 470,000

Academic Affairs 2,840,000

Sub-total 3,730,000

Total left after mandatory cost and allocations to three VP areas 0

First, we have made a strong commitment to our students and the strength of academic affairs by devoting over $2 million dollars of the $2.8 million that Provost McNall received to new tenure track faculty.

Second, we will be spending a total of $767,000, made up of the $234,000 we are paying to the system office and $533,000 allocated for our own campus, to start the process of implementing CMS. We need to identify an additional $2 to $2.5 million for each of the next four to five years.

• How are we going to secure funding for CMS? We have two alternatives:

The first one would be simply to ask each vice president to cut his budget on a pro-rata basis to generate the $2.5 million.

The second would be to increase enrollment beyond the 14,000 FTE to generate this amount. I think the latter of the two will be the least painful. It will mean, however, that for the duration of this project, we will have to absorb some additional FTE without additional resources for faculty and staff. It will also mean opportunities lost and opportunities forgone. This is a major project and the sooner we complete its implementation on this campus, the less money we will spend on it.

Enrollment Management. Our campus received a budgeted enrollment target of 13,600 FTE. In all likelihood, we will generate close to 14,000 FTE this academic year. This is our projected funded target for 2000-2001. It is also the cap for this campus. Careful work and planning will be required to limit enrollment in some of our most highly impacted colleges (e.g., Natural Sciences, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Humanities and Fine Arts, and Communication and Education), while growing in the colleges of Business, Engineering, and Agriculture. Our opportunities for enrollment growth will be very limited from next year on, as we explore opportunities for continued growth in the area of Year Round Operation and through web-based distance education.

One result of successful enrollment efforts is that for first-time freshmen, admission to the fall 2000 class is impacted and will require supplemental admission criteria. An eligibility index will be calculated for all freshmen based on high school grade average AND test scores, such as SAT or ACT. Freshmen applications will close November 30 for the fall term. This will result in better academically prepared students.

I have shared with you only a small amount of my entire convocation address. For more detail on these issues and kudos, please go to the Web site mentioned above.

ManuelA. Esteban


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