Academic Affairs Budget Update
January 23, 2013
On January 10th, Governor Brown announced his budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. Here are highlights:
- Expected $125m to backfill revenue lost by the CSU as a result of rolling back tuition this year;
- Unexpected additional $125m, partly tied to reforms that will make available the courses students need and help them progress through college efficiently, using technology to deliver quality education to greater numbers of students in high-demand courses, improving course management and planning, using faculty more effectively, and increasing use of summer sessions;
- Unusual language suggesting that funding should be tied to performance:
Even while the California higher education system demands more funding, it produces transfer and completion rates that need improvement. … For CSU, only 16 percent of students complete their degree within four years... A significant obstacle to timely completion is the unavailability of courses. When students are turned away from courses, time to completion increases and students enroll in courses they do not need for their degree, generating excess costs to the student and the state, and crowding out other students in the process. Until recently, the state has funded higher education based on enrollment targets. However, enrollment based funding does not promote innovation and efficiency or improve graduation rates. It does not focus on critical outcomes — affordability, timely completion rates, and quality programs. Instead, it builds the existing institutional infrastructure, allowing public universities and colleges to continue to deliver education in the high cost, traditional model.
- Include CSU employee benefit contributions in collective bargaining by removing existing state statute restriction, possibly leading to greater employee contributions;
- Adjustments to how lease and bond debt service are handled, changes which should be revenue neutral in the short term, but may be significant in the long term;
- Intention to increase CSU funding in 2014-15 by 5 percent and by 4 percent in each of the subsequent two years;
- No enrollment target suggested;
- Current tuition and fee levels maintained over the next four years.
At present, we have some idea how the first $125m will be allocated, and the campus has been counting on this funding; indeed, had this not been provided our budget situation would have been quite dire. We have little information on how the second $125m is likely to be allocated. We have a new chancellor and new trustees. The Governor did not provide an enrollment target, but he suggested alternative bases for resource allocation. These elements are all new and so we will have to wait and see how the Chancellor’s Office responds in order to gain an indication of what share of the second $125m Long Beach may receive and for what purposes it may be allocated.
Overall however, the budget news is better than it has been for several years. The Governor’s proposal will of course have to work through the state legislative process and probably will not be final until June at the earliest. Our funding has not returned to anything close to pre-reduction levels but we appear to have a degree of budget stability that is most welcome.
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