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University Update

University Update

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January 23, 2013

University Update

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

Vice Presidents Sally Roush, Mary Ruth Carleton and James Kitchen

Welcome to the Spring Semester 2013. There is much information to share and much to celebrate as we begin a new calendar year and the second half of the academic year.

This year’s budget status is positive. We will soon complete a mid-year budget status review, and expect the outcome will be a balanced budget owing to our careful management of our resources totaling in excess of $750 million, inclusive of university and auxiliary funds.


Enrollment is a critical factor in the university. Enrollment drives a significant part of our operating revenue and is a primary focus of our daily efforts. We are pleased to report that this year’s strong enrollment demand and the quality of our student body are likely to be repeated in the coming academic year.

For example, included in our 74,600 undergraduate applicants are 4,300 students with a high school GPA of 3.65 or above and an average SAT score of 1200 or above. Among those 4,300 applicants are 65 students with a high school GPA of 4.00 or above and an average SAT score of 1400 or above.

Financial strategy

This year the university embarked on an integrated financial strategy that relied on a continuing conservative approach to budgeting while focusing on increased support from other revenue sources.

The Campaign for SDSU is critical to our future financial well-being, and has delivered on our expectations. We have raised $377 million toward our Campaign goal of $500 million. Of this amount, $53 million has been committed for student scholarships and internships and $120 million for faculty support. Further, our endowment now totals $143 million. This is an important accomplishment and we are grateful to all who have worked to achieve this success.

State budget

Governor Brown released his proposed 2013/2014 budget for California on Jan. 10. The budget includes $125.1 million increased state funding for the California State University system as well as the previously promised $125 million to replace funds from the Fall 2012 tuition increase that was rescinded by the Board of Trustees subsequent to the passage of Proposition 30. This means that there is the possibility there will be funds available to San Diego State University for strategic investment.

Over the next several months we will monitor budget developments carefully. The state funding picture may change, and Chancellor’s Office may specify uses of the increased state funding that would impact the amount available to SDSU. Therefore our initial planning numbers will be calculated with very conservative assumptions. A revised state budget will be issued in May, and legislative deliberations on a final state budget will begin. As we await the final budget, the university’s Strategic Plan will be finalized. This plan will be an important factor guiding the strategic allocations of resources.

SDSU Strategic Plan

The university’s strategic planning process that began last fall continues to make progress. The planning process focuses on five areas of critical importance to the university. The five areas are: Student Success and Academic Excellence, Research and Creative Endeavors, Community Engagement (inclusive of Campus Climate, K-12 partnerships, Alumni Engagement, and Economic Development), Diversity and Internationalization.

Task forces representing the five areas made up of student, faculty, staff, alumni and community representatives are currently preparing draft reports which were published on the university’s strategic planning website for campus input on Jan. 17. Given the important role the strategic plan will play in guiding resource allocations it will be important that the campus provide input on the recommendations outlined in the draft reports. Campus input will be solicited until the plan is finalized. The strategic plan will be finalized on March 29.


The President’s Budget Advisory Committee will engage in discussions throughout the spring semester, examining current information about the state budget, reviewing the university’s overall revenue picture and Strategic Plan goals. A final budget recommendation will be presented to President Hirshman by the middle of June.

Moving into 2013, SDSU has considerable momentum and a more optimistic fiscal outlook. This is a direct result of the inherent strengths of the institution and the many contributions of our outstanding faculty, staff and students. We must continue to focus on an integrated fiscal strategy that has served us well over the past year. We will share more university updates as new milestones are achieved. For now, thank you for all your efforts on behalf of SDSU.