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San Diego State University

Annual Report

Fiscal Sustainability

Highlights from the 2010-2011 Annual Report,
Division of Student Affairs, San Diego State University

As the State of California deals with unprecedented budget woes, it is clear that public funding of higher education will continue to deteriorate. In order to sustain the quality programs and services that we know help students succeed, the university and the division must find creative ways to either obtain private support or ensure that programs are self-funded.

In the fall of 2010, Student Health Services (SHS) instituted an augmented fee to allow the Division of Student Affairs to expand the coverage of mental health needs. Last year, 15 percent of the approximately 46,000 visits to SHS were mental health related. The augmented fee was one way to provide the services needed without relying on state funds.

SHS also developed a formal fiscal sustainability initiative. This was a major paradigm shift from expansion to sustainability and was an ongoing topic of yearlong “town hall” style meetings with all staff. The specific goals are for all SHS staff to contribute new ideas and build on existing bright spots whereby staff reduce costs while maintaining quality medical care.

Counseling & Psychological Services (C&PS) created several innovative and renowned programs that are not only self-supported, but also provide revenue to the department, the Division of Student Affairs, and the university:

  • ASPIRE is a fee-for-service program that allows hundreds of students annually to be seen in individual counseling without detracting from other services. Each student pays a $100 fee. The personalized, 1:1 approach to alcohol and other drug intervention, which serves as a model for other universities, would otherwise be too expensive to administer, and thus be unsustainable.
  • The e-CHECKUP TO GO programs (alcohol and marijuana) developed by C&PS are used on more than 600 campuses worldwide. Colleges and universities pay a yearly subscription fee, which creates significant revenue for SDSU.
  • The Bounce Back Retention Program curriculum and manuals are being sold to other campuses. The revenue is then used for further research and development of the program.

The International Student Center (ISC) implemented strategic international recruitment plans during 2010/2011. Because international students do not rely on state allocations and they pay the full amount of their education, increasing international enrollment will help SDSU weather the storms of decreased funding from the state.

In addition to increasing international enrollment, the ISC is working to create an international alumni advisory group. The goal is to create scholarships for international undergraduate students, as well as connect with international alumni

The Compact for Success had its most successful year, enabling it to enhance and expand the program. The program reached out to various funding sources, including the Aztec Parent Fund and the Kresge Foundation SEMILLAS initiative. The Kresge grant went to expanding its SDSU Peer Mentoring Program, continuing efforts at Soutwestern Community College and expanding to San Diego City College.

The Student Affairs Information Systems Management (ISM) teamdeveloped and deployed key applications to automate tedious tasks that waste staff time. These include the following new applications:

  • New Student Orientation Registration 3.0
  • Registered Student Organization 2.0
  • Event Approval System 1.0
  • Incident Reporting Information System
  • Test Office Web Registration System updated to current technologies

ISM and the Division’s Communications Services partnered with University Marketing and Communications to roll out a content management system for the division’s web pages. Content management systems simplify the process for creating and maintaining websites. Communications Services served a key role in providing documentation for the system.

ISM also established a leadership role within Enrollment Services IT on the architecting of WebPortal 2.0.

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) obtained outside donations to expand programs and services. These included:

  • A $1 million grant from Jim and Janet Sinegal
  • $270,000 from Price Charities
  • $40,000 from Life Technologies
  • $50,000 from the Richard “Baer” Sutcliff Endowment Scholarship
  • $100,000 from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Grant

The Aztec Parents Advisory Board held its annual board retreat in June 2011, in which it reviewed Aztec Parent Fund grant applications and made recommendations for the allocation of more than $120,000 to support student services and programs for the 2011/2012 academic year.  The Aztec Parents Fund continually funds programs that provide proven success and are not supported by state funds. Last year the annual fund collected $273,634 – a nine percent increase over the previous year.