By Chelsea Galvez |Staff Writer|
An increased budget plan request of $269 million for the 2015-2016 school year is expected to be approved by the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees after a meeting on Nov. 12-13th.
This budget request more than doubles Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal of $119.5 million that was outlined in his multi-year funding budget for CSU.
“The CSU, which spans the entire state of California, has an annual budget of more than $5 billion,” reported the CSU website.
The CSU budget outline states that the increase is necessary for mandatory expenses such as retirement and health benefits for employees, a necessary two percent compensation pool increase for faculty, student success and completion initiatives, as well as infrastructure and maintenance costs.
“The plan focuses on critical needs to fulfill the CSU’s mission to educate Californians under the state’s higher education master plan and, to this end, seeks ongoing reinvestment by the state in the CSU,” stated the CSU budget plan summary.
“The planning approach is tempered by recognition of the state’s finite resources, yet represents a credible statement of the CSU’s key funding needs for the upcoming fiscal year.”
The CSU Board of Trustees hopes to invest 38.4 percent of their budget, which is approximately $103.2 million, into a plan to increase enrollment by three percent to keep up with the increasing demand for higher education.
The CSU system turned away over 25,000 eligible undergraduate applicants in Fall 2013 and yet the demand for CSU enrollment has remained at 760,000 undergraduate applications for the Fall 2014 quarter, according to the CSU proposal outline.
“I don’t think that increasing enrollment is the best idea for a campus that is already super impacted,” said student Dorothy Atkinson.
The CSU system remains hopeful that their approved budget will increase maintenance, infrastructure improvements, and other improvements that will help lessen some of the pressure that causes impacted campuses.
“From 2008-2012, the CSU system lost $1 billion of state revenue. Due to budget constraints, the university has been forced to turn away 20,000 to 25,000 fully qualified students each academic term since 2008. The passage of Proposition 30 and Gov. Jerry Brown’s multi-year funding plan has restored funding,” said Stephanie Thara, CSUSB’s media contact from the Chancellor’s Office.
“However, the state’s contribution for academic year 2015-16 is equivalent to pre 2007-08 levels when the university served 50,000 fewer students. The current budget will enable the university to admit 12,000 additional students, sustain student success, pay mandatory costs, and provide a salary increase to employees,” continued Thara.
Besides next year’s budget plan, the Board of Trustees is also scheduled to discuss and hear updated plans for sexual assault prevention and Title IX compliance training among the 23 CSU campuses.
“I believe that this is establishing the fact that the CSUs are taking an important stand against sexual assault and that we are taking this very seriously. I applaud the CSU Board of Trustees for taking on this issue in a significant way and working towards changing the culture in regards to sexual assault on our campuses,” said Janet Honn-Alex, coordinator of the CSUSB Women’s Resource Center. The finalized budget results should be made available this week.