March 19, 2012
Provost's Letter to the Campus Community
CSULB Students, Faculty and Staff:
The CSU and CSULB budgets for next year depend upon Governor Brown's November ballot initiative that would increase sales and income taxes. Voter approval is very uncertain. Should initiatives fail, the CSU will face a $200 million reduction. The CSU Board of Trustees will include many new Governor-appointed members who may not be willing to approve a fee increase large enough to mitigate the reduction.
If this occurs, CSULB could face a $27m budget shortfall. CSULB does not have enough temporary resources to manage a cut of this magnitude.
Enrollment reduction would lead to even larger budget reductions because student fees now contribute more to our total revenue than state appropriations.
The magnitude of the possible budget reduction is so large that we cannot wait until November to take action. Pending the November vote, I see no option but to reduce General Fund expenditures in anticipation of a very large budget reduction in 2012-13. The following actions are effective beginning July 1 for the Fall semester, at least.
I cannot in good conscience minimize the seriousness of the situation we face. What we are facing is very difficult to accept and provides us no satisfactory options. If the November initiative receives voter approval or if fee increase or other relief is forthcoming, I will cheerfully reverse as many of these actions as possible.
CSULB has become a great university due to the hard work of faculty and staff over many years. Our graduation rates are at historic highs with diverse students. Our faculty achieves scholarly and creative distinctions. We are engaged in the community and around the globe. CSULB has a legacy of shared commitments to quality, to students, and to working together. Our current challenge may test our legacy, but, if we pull together, what makes CSULB a very special institution can be sustained. I am optimistic that we will get through this and emerge true to our mission, proud of our history, and excited about our future.
Academic Affairs Budgetary Actions Effective July 1, 2012
March 19, 2012
The following actions must be planned immediately because to delay would prevent accruing savings in time to help with major budget cuts anticipated if the November ballot initiative fails. If the initiatives pass or if there is mitigation to offset most of the planned reductions, we will take immediate action to reverse as many of these actions as possible.
- No faculty travel will be supported by the General Fund, CERF or Lottery. Non-state funded (07, 17 and 06 accounts) and self-funded professional travel may continue. All other travel guidelines continue to apply. This could save up to $1m in General Fund. Administrative travel will also be restricted.
- The Division currently spends about $2m in General Fund operating expenses and distributes $2.2m in Lottery funding. In anticipation that we may lose all of this to budget cuts, we will hold $1m in Lottery and $500,000 from June CCPE distributions. If we lose General Fund operating resources, we will use this $1.5m to backfill, as we cannot operate without some funds.
- We have been spending $3.9m on Faculty Assigned Time (not including new faculty and RSCA). Any changes in this pattern need to be announced immediately as schedules are being planned. We will reduce General Fund support for Faculty Assigned Time to $1.5m. This will primarily affect college funded research, advising, and program coordination. Colleges and departments should create a plan to award reduced General Fund assigned time for Fall 2012. Deans will be asked to submit short lists of essential assigned time within their colleges that must be approved by the Provost. Academic Affairs will review support for Academic Senate, Directors and other functions.
- We will continue to award the 7.5% salary increases for promotions (contractual) but will suspend TIPs (Associate Professors) and FPAs (Full Professors) starting this year – Spring 2012. This is estimated to affect 97 individuals at $2200 each and save $213,400.
- Current tenure-track faculty searches will be completed, provided there are strong pools of candidates. If a search is canceled, the respective college will receive $65,000 "credit" toward its 2012-13 budget reduction. We will authorize a very limited number of tenure-track searches for Fall 2013 appointment.
- Staff hiring will be limited to only the most extreme programmatic needs to avoid cost increases.
- Supporting faculty Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities (RSCA) is a priority for Academic Affairs and CSULB. We will maintain our stated commitment to RSCA by shifting at least one half of those costs onto F&A revenue, saving about half of the $665,000 commitment for 2012-13. Sabbatical Leaves approved for 2012-13 will be honored.
- To manage enrollments with limited resources, during the early phase of registration, student registration will be limited to 13 units and associate deans will reserve some seats for transfer students until SOAR. In August, the registration limit will be raised. This process will permit all continuing students to get a reasonable schedule and leave some seats for new transfers. Any early registration exceptions for seniors graduating in Fall 2012 will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
- All Student Excellence Funds not already committed to advising staff (about $1m) will be reserved at this time. Funds already committed to advising staff will be reviewed. Funds may be needed to shelter staff positions from budget cuts. This will mean that the campus can launch no new initiatives to support student success in Fall 2012. Unless reversed, there will be significant adverse effects on student progress to degree.
- We will suspend admissions to graduate programs that had issues identified in Program Review, have low graduation rates or low demand. Funds will be saved by repurposing faculty to undergraduate instruction. Deans will identify graduate programs to suspend enrollments and decisions announced soon. Although minimal savings will accrue in 2012-13, savings in the following year are estimated at $500,000. Delay would prevent savings in 2013-14. (Estimated CSULB costs for graduate instruction are currently estimated at $4.6m annually, calculated conservatively at a lecturer replacement rate at which savings could accrue.)
Other actions are being considered by the Chancellor's Office. These actions could include reducing enrollments and establishing a moratorium on new degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Additional budget strategies are under review and may emerge from budget planning that the division and academic colleges will undertake this Spring. We will look at departments that have small or no summer programs; chairs may be moved to a 10 month state compensation basis, possibly with stipends from CCPE if warranted. Where departments have larger summer programs, CCPE will reimburse the General Fund for summer salaries and benefits. We will examine undergraduate programs that have had issues identified in Program Review, have low graduation rates, or have low demand. In addition to establishing a moratorium on new programs, we will consider significant limitations on curricular changes at both the undergraduate and graduate level. In 2013-14, we may shift all RSCA costs onto F&A revenue as state General Fund resources continue to dwindle. It may be necessary to make very significant reductions to temporary staff and possibly management positions. Next Spring, it may well be the case that we lack adequate resources for the schedule of classes and shortages become significant.
Donald J. Para
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs