Office of the President

July 12, 2018 - Budget message from the President

To: Campus Community

From: President Gayle E. Hutchinson

Dear Campus Community,

During the spring semester, I shared with you the unfortunate prospect that California Governor Jerry Brown was proposing to fund less than half of the CSU’s requested budget increase. I communicated with you again following the governor’s May revise, which added $100 million in one-time money for deferred maintenance but changed little else. I asked for your assistance in advocating for the CSU and Chico State, to emphasize to our legislators that the health of California was in many ways tied to the health of the CSU.

To all who responded—students, faculty, staff, and administrators—I am thankful for your participation in this civic process. Whether you emailed your legislator, met with lawmakers in Sacramento, or joined the CSU community on advocacy days, you made a difference. We have been heard.

We should all be grateful that the governor and legislators chose to support the CSU. The final 2018–19 state budget contains an ongoing CSU increase of $197.1 million and $161.1 million in one-time funding to expand enrollment, address deferred maintenance, and bolster campus efforts to support student well-being. Although this increase was $66 million less than the CSU budget request, it’s still good news for the CSU.

What does this mean for Chico State? In addition to ongoing Graduation Initiative 2025 funding, we get approximately $2.4 million to fund compensation increases, which is very good news.

However, we must remain focused on the broader financial picture here at home. As you know, our campus has been deficit spending for several years. This means we are spending more than we have received. This practice is not sustainable or responsible. A healthy reserve covers five months of institutional operating costs. Today, our University has roughly three months of expenditures in reserve.

At Chico State, we will continue to focus on addressing our financial challenges, controlling costs, and ending the practice of relying on reserves year after year. Over the past four years, we have spent down our reserves by over $14 million.

Fiscal Year

Reserve Balance

2015

$54,261,201

2016

$45,159,484

2017

$42,921,143

2018

$40,036,852

Together, we will put our University on a more sustainable financial path. Each division is working on this challenge. Discussions take place at University Budget Committee meetings, which are open to the entire campus. Looking to Fiscal Year 2018–19, we are committed to reducing our overall spending and beginning to replenish campus reserves.

Our work to update our strategic plan will help us prioritize and make the best use of precious University resources. As we plan for the future, we will continue to emphasize academic excellence by providing a rigorous, transformative education to our students while also becoming more fiscally prudent.

Thank you for your hard work and effort. I am deeply grateful for all that you do to support our students and our campus.