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University Update

University Update

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January 1, 2014

University Update

TO: SDSU Faculty and Staff
FROM: President Elliot Hirshman
Provost Nancy Marlin

Vice Presidents Mary Ruth Carleton, Tom McCarron and Eric Rivera
Vice President and Graduate Dean Stephen Welter

As we begin the spring semester, there is much to celebrate. After almost 3 years of construction, The Aztec Student Union, our new campus living room, opens its doors on January 22. The student union will be the center of campus life for decades to come. The renovation of Storm and Nasatir halls is also complete. The 100,000 sq-ft. renovation and a 30,000 sq-ft. addition provide upgraded lecture and office space for our community. We encourage you to visit these new campus spaces.

Financial & Budget Update

The 2013/14 budget remains stable. We have resolved many of the structural deficits that arose during 2011 and we anticipate stabilizing the faculty instructional budget in Academic Affairs as we enter the 2014-2015 academic year. Assuming stable expenditures, this will remove the need for colleges to utilize one-time funding to augment their instructional budgets or implement further permanent reductions in 2014-2015. This spring, we will continue to monitor our enrollments and revenue initiatives and, if possible, will pursue additional investments of one-time funds in our people and our programs.

This past week, Governor Brown released his proposed 2014-15 budget for the state of California. Consistent with the Governor's multi-year funding plan, this budget includes an additional $142.2 million for the CSU. This allocation, if enacted, will further stabilize our budget. Budget deliberations will occur over the next several months leading to the Governor issuing his May revise and the enacting of a final budget. During this time, SDSU will monitor budget developments at the state and within the CSU, continue to present our arguments for additional funding in multiple venues, and plan our budget based on conservative assumptions and the strategic allocation of resources.

Strategic Plan: Building on Excellence

We continue to make significant progress on the university's strategic plan, “Building on Excellence.” To date, the university has allocated more than $27 million in one-time funds and $11.7 million in base budget funds to address critical support needs and strategic plan initiatives identified in the planning process. Based on recommendations from the strategic plan working groups and contingent on enrollment/revenue initiatives, we anticipate allocating additional one-time funds to support the plan's initiatives this semester.

Significant efforts have also been undertaken to discuss the plan with members of our community. Discussions with faculty, staff, students, administrative leaders, alumni and community leaders occurred this fall and will continue in the spring. These discussions provide an important opportunity to create community dialogue around the initiatives outlined in the strategic plan.

The strategic plan website maintains a record of the plan's ongoing initiatives. While space limitations precludes a comprehensive listing here, the opening of the Pride Center and the Commuter Research Center (both on January 22nd), the kickoff of the SDSU Arts Visibility Initiative, the expansion of the Zahn Center, and the inaugural celebratory event for faculty and staff all represent important milestones. More information about these initiatives and others are available on the strategic plan website.

Campaign for SDSU

The Campaign for SDSU is nearing the goal of $500 million set in July of 2007. Year-end gifts have been received in record numbers to support the key initiatives of SDSU's Strategic Plan. The Campaign total now stands at $465 million with 45,207 gifts made to The Campaign. To date, we have received 85 gifts of $1 million or more to support SDSU. The endowment for San Diego State University is now at $172 million providing ongoing support for student scholarships, faculty and staff, and university-related programs. Additional information about the campaign can be found at:

Enrollment Update

The undergraduate admission application filing period closed on November 30, 2013 for Fall 2014 admission. San Diego State University received 83,167 applications -- 56,236 freshmen, 21,798 transfers, and 5,133 post-baccalaureate/graduate student applications (although the admission cycle for graduate applications is still open). These numbers reflect an increase of 3.8% for freshman, 5.4% for transfers, and 6.2% for post-baccalaureate/graduate applications to date. There was a 3.8% decrease from last year in the number of freshman applications from students in SDSU's local admission area.

The California State University (CSU) system received 775,498 admission applications (duplicated). Looking at unduplicated admission applications (which counts the number of applicants rather than applications), the CSU received applications from 294,149 students. This is a decrease of 0.3% percent from last year's unduplicated applications.

SDSU will grow its enrollment slightly for Fall 2014, increasing by 175 FTES for an enrollment target of 26,400.

Research Successes

The research programs at SDSU continue to be successful. Recently, Dr. Mark Sussman received a prestigious Program Project Grant from the National Institutes of Health. This $8.5 million project will use stem cell approaches to understand and address issues of heart failure and damage repair. By understanding how aging influences heart regeneration, Dr. Sussman has focused on strategies to help the heart initiate and accelerate the process of natural repair. In collaboration with SDSU faculty member, Chris Glembotski, and faculty at UCSD, the research integrates both graduate and undergraduate researchers into the cardiovascular consortium of researchers at SDSU.

Another noteworthy success is the formation of a collaborative Cancer Research Consortium with the Moores Cancer Center at UCSD. Strengths in population biology and health disparity research of SDSU faculty were added to the consortium as complementary areas of expertise to the clinical and fundamental cancer research currently in the Moores Cancer Center. An example of community based research in the College of Health and Human Services at SDSU was the grant recently awarded to Drs. John Elder and Suchi Ayala from the Patient–Centered Outcomes Research Institute for $4 million to enhance care of children with asthma in the Imperial County.

Campus Living Room

As mentioned above, the Aztec Student Union opens its doors on the first day of the spring semester. The “grand opening” semester features a dedicated set of activities during the first week of school and a grand dedication week from March 3-8. Tours are available for faculty and staff to learn more about the student union. For more information about the student union, visit

Community Outreach

Through a generous donation from the Price Charity Family Fund, SDSU will be able to support the second cohort of the Price Community Scholars program in 2014-2015. The program supports high-achieving, low income, first-generation college students from City Heights and adjacent neighborhoods. Students selected for the program receive financial, academic and co-curricular support to attend SDSU and, as part of the program, are responsible for mentoring students from the City Heights community. Participants in the new cohort group will mentor students from Monroe Clark and Wilson middle schools. The program encourages high-achieving local students to attend San Diego State University by providing financial support for housing, tuition and supplies, as well as a comprehensive program to develop college readiness and ongoing academic success through mentoring and community building. This program is one example of the many efforts SDSU is undertaking to support the achievement of K-12 students in our local community.

The history and success of the current cohort of Price Community Scholars will be covered in-depth at a workshop selected for presentation at the 2014 NASPA Annual Conference in March. To read more about the success of this important program visit

Collective Accomplishments

This is an exciting time at the university as we continue to make significant progress toward our shared goals. We are grateful for, and deeply appreciative of, the extraordinary collective efforts of our faculty and staff. Thank you for everything you do for the university and best wishes for a productive and rewarding semester.