By Chelsea Galvez |Staff Writer|
The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees approved a budget increase of $269 million for the 2015-2016 school year last week as well as a three percent compensation increase for top CSU executives.
The CSU budget proposal is now subject to the approval of Gov. Jerry Brown.
The proposal spells out no tuition increase.
The budget increase, as stated by the CSU budget proposal, was a measure necessary to cover mandatory expenses such as employee benefits, faculty pay increases, student success and completion initiatives, as well as infrastructure and maintenance improvements across all CSU campuses.
“[The new budget] will prioritize employee compensation, enrollment growth, student success and completion, and critical facility maintenance and infrastructure repairs,” said Stephanie Thara, CSUSB’s media contact from the Chancellor’s Office.
The budget increase comes in at approximately $97.1 million more than Brown’s original spending proposal.
The new budget proposes that $103.2 million will be allocated for a three percent increase in funded enrollment, which would allow an additional 12,000 students to be enrolled across the CSU campuses.
Brown’s original budget proposal of $119.5 million would allow an additional 3,500 students to enroll across all campuses.
“This budget recommendation for 2015-16 represents a significant state financial investment that emphasizes current student success and completion, increases community college and first-time freshmen student access, stresses the need for academic facility and information technology infrastructure repair, replacement, and improvement, addresses compensation issues, and funds CSU mandatory costs,” said Chancellor Timothy P. White in a message in the official budget plan.
In addition to enrollment and faculty pay increases, the Board of Trustees voted to increase executives pay by three percent.
While this pay increase for top officials was not explicitly outlined in the official budget plan, the Los Angeles Times reported that White, among other executives and the 23 campus presidents had not received a pay raise in over seven years.
“Due to devastating budget cuts, there were no compensation increases for CSU faculty, staff or executives since 2007-08,” confirmed Thara.
Thara explained that until last year’s faculty and staff salary increase, no CSU staff member received any sort of raise.
“Faculty and staff received salary increases last year and this year. Executives did not receive increase last year, but will receive this year,” continued Thara.
The board-approved executive pay raises will most likely be paid out of state funds, which has left some Trustees in disapproval.
“While I approve and support the recommendation for the excellent work, I’m not comfortable using state funds to apply three percent on the supplement; I don’t feel it’s appropriate,” Board Trustee Lupe Garcia told the Los Angeles Times.
The CSU Board of Trustees is aware that there may be a chance that sufficient funding will not be provided by the state.
“If we don’t receive the full amount in the budget proposed, it will limit our resources to increase enrollment and sustain academic success,” said Thara.
If Brown favors CSU’s proposal, it will move forward to the state legislature for approval with the chance of being implemented in June 2015.