Update on Academic Affairs Budget

Date: December 4, 2015
To: Faculty and Staff
From: Interim Provost Elrod
Subject: Update on Academic Affairs Budget

I am pleased to provide online access to the budget presentation I made on December 3, 2015, at the Academic Senate meeting, and on December 4, 2015, at the Chair’s Council meeting. 

I know there are concerns about the budget situation in Academic Affairs and I hope this presentation both provides useful information and answers important questions. It was created to address many of the questions I have received about the budget from the Academic Senate and other sources. This presentation reflects budget information released to the College Deans on November 10, 2015, which was a follow up to a meeting held with senior leaders in Academic Affairs on October 6, 2015.  At this meeting, preliminary information on the budget situation was provided. I appreciate the diligent efforts of leaders and budget staff in Academic Affairs to work with us on this year’s budget and ensure we are meeting our priorities.

Our primary priorities in this budget cycle have been to continue to support student success and to protect and support our workforce. I do not anticipate widespread cancelling of courses for the spring semester because of our focus on meeting student course demand. This also means that I do not anticipate the budget situation to have a significant impact on part-time lecturer contracts. We will, of course, honor all other faculty contracts that are currently in place.

As the presentation makes clear, we have received more funding from the State of California; however, our personnel costs have also risen. In addition, our reserve account balance has decreased to levels that do not allow us to continue funding one-time allocations as we have in the past to supplement base budget allocations. The budget presentation provides specific details on how reserves have been spent and an estimate of reserve fund levels at the end of this academic year.

Despite this situation, we are working hard to use some of our reserves to make additional one-time allocations to Colleges so that they can continue to provide students with the courses they need during Spring 2016 to make timely progress toward meeting their program requirements.

Our continued work regarding this year’s budget is to maintain our focus on student success, responsibly utilize our reserves, and to make the best use of existing resources.

We will begin budget planning for the 2016-17 academic year early in 2016. I look forward to further opportunities to continue to answer questions and provide up-to-date information on the Academic Affairs budget. To this end, I have made myself available to attend meetings of student leaders, faculty and staff in the colleges or at other meeting venues. I am also working with the Academic Senate on continued venues for presentation and dialog regarding budget issues.

In the meantime, please check back with the Provost’s Office website in our What’s New section http://www.csuchico.edu/vpaa/ for additional postings of information on the budget.