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University Update

University Update

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TO: All Faculty and Staff
FROM: Stephen L. Weber, President
Edith Benkov, Chair, Senate
Carole Kennedy, President, SDSU Chapters, California Faculty Association and American Association of University Professors
James Poet, President, Associated Students
Don Clavin, Chapter President, CSUEU
Preston Chipps, SDSU Chief Steward, APC
Randy Grobe, Campus Steward, SETC
Officer Scott Smith, SDSU Representative, SUPA
Dan Ortiz, Campus Steward, UAW-Academic Student Employees

March 5 , 2008

Budget Message #3

It is clear that 2008 will present significant budget challenges for the CSU system. Faced with a growing $14.5-billion state budget deficit, Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed to cut $312.9 million from the CSU budget approved by the Board of Trustees for the 2008-09 fiscal year. The proposed budget fails to fund access for 10,000 students systemwide and puts at risk our ability to provide quality education for the nearly 450,000 students already enrolled.

In the face of the governor's proposed budget reductions, the CSU community -- faculty, students, staff, alumni, administrators and the Board of Trustees -- are working together to advocate that the legislature and the governor consider alternative solutions. We are all alarmed by the $386.1-million reduction to the CSU budget, consisting of the governor's cut of $312.9 million and the $73.2 million necessary to avoid a 10 percent student fee increase in the 2008-09 academic year.

This funding reduction comes only three years after our budget was reduced by more than $500 million during the 2002-03 through 2004-05 fiscal years, which led to significantly reduced student access as well as a dramatic increase in student fees. History will likely be repeated if the governor's proposed CSU budget reductions are sustained by the legislature.

Some policymakers believe we should "live within our means" without new taxes and that resources to fund public services should be generated by a stronger California economy. The CSU is California's economic engine, strengthening the economy by graduating 90,000 students into the state's workforce every year.

We play a major role in the state's workforce in the areas of nursing, teaching, agriculture, business, public administration, and engineering. The CSU returns $4.41 to California's economy annually for every $1 invested by the state. Given the state's General Fund condition, investing in the CSU is a smart solution to addressing the California's fiscal deficit.

Working together, the CSU community is urging the legislature and the Governor to maintain the state's investment in California's economic engine -- the CSU. We are asking the legislature and the Governor to find other sources of revenue -- other than higher fees for our students and their families -- as a way to support the CSU budget. There needs to be a more balanced budget approach that considers the CSU as a valuable investment in the future economy of California.

We ask all members of the SDSU community to help us advocate for the California State University by writing to your legislators, talking with your friends, and making your voices heard about the importance of restoring our budget and protecting the state's investment in higher education. Please also save the date for the SDSU Rally for California's Future on Thursday, March 20, 12-1 pm; additional details will be forthcoming. We ask you to join us in our efforts to ensure that the CSU gets the budget our students and California deserve.

The fight for the future of California is not over; it has just begun.