Governor Proposes Student Fee
Increase, University Studies Cost-Cutting Options
from Dateline (January 30, 2003)
On the heels of a 10 percent spring semester
student fee increase, Gov. Gray Davis has proposed a 25 percent
fee increase for the California State University’s 2003-04
academic year. The 23-campus system is facing $326 million
in reductions for the upcoming fiscal year as the state wrestles
with a multibillion-dollar deficit.
“We have known for several months that all Californians
will feel the pain of this budget crisis, and the CSU is certainly
feeling it now,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “But
we know this: the education, research and service the CSU provides
are indispensable to California’s future. We are as committed
as ever to preserving access for students, maintaining the high
quality of our programs, and protecting the outstanding faculty
and staff who are the heart and soul of this institution.”
To ensure student access, the governor’s proposed
budget includes funding to support a 5 percent enrollment growth
throughout the system for the coming academic year. At Cal State
Fullerton, growth is being targeted for the El Toro campus, which
opened in August, and year-round operations.
The governor’s budget proposal anticipates that
the CSU Board of Trustees will increase student fees for the 2003-04
academic year to compensate for $258.5 million in general fund reductions.
If approved by the trustees, a 25 percent increase would boost the
state university fee for full-time undergraduate students by $394
to $1,968 annually. The governor has proposed an accompanying increase
in financial aid for eligible students.
At Cal State Fullerton, the proposed state university
fee increase would bring the overall fee total to $2,419 annually
for an undergraduate enrolled in more than six units of course work.
That figure includes various campus fees, such as those for athletics,
health services and the Associated Students.
“We remain committed to maintaining the quality
of our academic offerings and the services we provide,” said
President Milton A. Gordon. “All of us are reviewing what
we must do in light of this difficult budget situation. We will
economize where we can and always keep in mind our mission of educating
For more than a year, the campus has been studying
various cost-cutting options as the revenue picture dimmed state-wide,
noted Judith Anderson, executive vice president. “Obviously,
the departments, colleges and divisions are engaged in reviewing
their budgets. At a university- wide level, the Academic Senate’s
Planning, Resources and Budgeting Committee is reviewing campus
plans and will be forwarding recommendations to the president. This
is part of work performed each year by the PRBC.”
The PRBC consists of faculty members from all seven
colleges, staff members, students, vice presidents and division
The governor’s proposed state budget specified
some cuts in the CSU’s current general fund budget of $2.6
The CSU also must absorb an additional $78.6 million
in unfunded, mandatory cost increases, noted system officials. These
added costs include employee salary increases of $32.8 million,
of which nearly $30 million is for faculty members; higher health-care
costs of $32.2 million; insurance premium increases, including worker’s
compensation, of $7.2 million; and $6.3 million in costs to open
new classrooms, laboratories and offices.
A bright spot in the proposed budget, according to
Patrick Lenz, CSU assistant vice chancellor for budget development,
is an increase of $105.8 million to support a 5 percent enrollment
growth for the coming year, or roughly 20,000 additional students
systemwide. The governor’s proposal also adds $45 million
to partially cover the cost of 10,500 additional students in 2002-03,
for which no funding previously had been provided.
In addition, the governor is calling for speeding
up construction projects throughout the state, using bond funds
approved by voters last year that will fund projects at all 23 CSU
campuses, systemwide officials noted.
At Fullerton, this will enable the campus to provide
fire and safety improvements, such as new fire hydrants and improved
fire detection and alarm systems; upgrade the telecommunications
infrastructure, including 40 additional Code Blue emergency telephones;
and purchase equipment for the Physical Education addition.
Next in the 2003-04 budget process will be the release
of an analysis by the Legislative Analyst’s Office followed
by legislative budget hearings. In May, the governor is scheduled
to submit a revised budget request based on the forecast of state
revenues at that time.
Following completion of hearings, the state Legislature
will forward a budget bill for the governor’s signature.
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