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University Update

University Update

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March 21, 2012

University Update

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

Vice Presidents Sally Roush, Mary Ruth Carleton and James Kitchen

We write to share several important university-wide updates.

FY 2012-2013 Budget Coming Into Focus

When the university adopted its budget last June for the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2011, the State budget contained a “trigger” provision of an additional $100 million cut to the CSU to be enacted in January if certain state revenue estimates did not materialize. The “trigger” revenue provisions were not met and, as anticipated, SDSU was required to reduce its budget mid-year by $7.8 million. We had anticipated this reduction and had sequestered sufficient one- time funds to cover this amount.

The President’s Budget Advisory Committee met on January 19, 2012, and recommended that President Hirshman treat the $7.8 million as a one-time reduction to be distributed proportionately across the university’s major divisions. President Hirshman approved this recommendation. The total reduction in state appropriation to SDSU in the current year is thus $59.9 million.

The Governor’s proposed budget for FY 2012-2013 continues this $100-million reduction, which is covered by a 9% tuition increase approved by the Board of Trustees in July of 2012, and allocates a flat budget for the CSU, i.e., no increase or decrease in state funding. The challenge facing the university, however, is that the State budget contains another “trigger” provision that will cut $200 million from the CSU budget if the Governor’s proposed tax increase measures are not approved by voters in the November elections. This translates into another $15.5 million reduction in state appropriation for SDSU; after factoring in tuition and other revenue increases the final reduction to SDSU in 2012-13 is estimated at this time to be $13.4 million. There are varying predictions as to whether the tax provisions will pass and whether, if approved, they will generate sufficient new tax revenues. The CSU Chancellor’s Office has announced that it will hold back each university’s share of the $200 million reduction so that if the trigger cut does occur the CSU will have the funds available to revert to the State. We must, therefore, plan for the $13.4 million reduction for SDSU to be effective July 1, 2012.

Through this period of budget reductions, SDSU has been prudent in accumulating one-time reserves. These reserves have been critical to accommodating reductions and to planning systematically for permanent budget reductions. While this use of reserves has been beneficial, and we will rely, to some extent, on reserves in FY 2012-2013, our reserve dollars are being depleted. Moreover, there are structural deficits in each of the university’s divisions. Given these challenges, we must pursue an integrated financial strategy so that each division can address its structural deficit and we can prepare for the FY 2012-2013 reductions.

We will hold a series of budget information presentations for the university community. These presentations will provide opportunity for discussion, questions and answers, with a special focus on the FY 2012-2013 budget.

Consistent with our traditions of shared governance, the President’s Budget Advisory Committee will continue to play a crucial role in reviewing budgetary information and providing recommendations regarding the distribution of state appropriation and tuition and fee revenue to the university’s divisions. Please watch for a schedule of budget information presentations and plan to attend one of these sessions.

The Campaign for SDSU Exceeds $306 Million

Since July 2007, nearly 34,000 donors have supported The Campaign for SDSU. More than $306 million has been raised to date to benefit the entire SDSU community. Recent gifts include:

  • $2 million planned gift from Lawrence, ’71, and Madeline Petersen to support the College of Business Administration’s Entrepreneurial Management Center
  • $700,000 from Irwin Zahn to establish the Zahn Center for Engineering Innovation
  • $500,000 from Sharp HealthCare to fund three new scholarships in the College of Health and Human Services and establish the Sharp HealthCare Professional Education and Research Institute
  • $250,000 from the W.M. Keck Foundation to support SDSU researchers and undergraduate students in studying how climate change affects the spread of infectious diseases
  • $250,000 from Michael and Cynthia Hartell to support the Dean’s Excellence Fund in the College of Arts and Letters
  • $100,000 from Steven Cushman to the College of Business Administration

With a $500 million goal, The Campaign for SDSU is transforming our university by increasing access and educational opportunities, strengthening our ties with the San Diego community, and supporting our life-changing research.

Admitted Students Diverse and Well-Prepared

SDSU continues to attract highly qualified and diverse students. The average high school GPA for fall 2012 admitted freshman is 3.79 with an accompanying average SAT score of 1146. These are quite similar to last year's record-setting credentials. The fall 2012 average GPA for admitted transfer students is 3.20, again similar to this past fall's experience. The diversity of our current fall 2012 admits is quite strong, with freshmen of color composing 56.8% of the total first-time freshman admits.

In fall 2011, the percentage of freshman admit students of color was 54.7%. The diversity of our current fall 2012 transfer admits is also quite strong at 52.2% of the total new transfer student admits. In fall 2011, the percentage of new transfer admits of color was 47.3%. We anticipate enrolling 4,185 freshmen and 3,418 new transfer students on the San Diego campus this fall. In fall 2011, we enrolled 3,970 freshmen and 2,910 new transfer students.

Research Shows Value of Parental Involvement

The Division of Student Affairs completed research on three cohorts of first-time freshmen (2005, 2006 and 2007), comparing students whose parents were members of the Aztec Parents Association to students whose parents were not members. The research was significant in showing that parental involvement plays a key role in higher GPAs, retention, and most significantly, a faster track to graduation. They presented their research at the annual NASPA conference, which attracts about 4,000 Student Affairs professionals from all over the world.

Diversity Starts Here

On Feb. 18, The Office of Intercultural Relations and the Student Life & Leadership Office, both within the Division of Student Affairs, hosted the SDSU Leadership and Diversity Summit. More than 300 students, faculty, and staff attended this one-day summit with a joint focus on leadership and diversity in today’s world. The conference provided workshops and presentations on a variety of tracks: Making a Difference in Today's World; Skills Wanted! Tools for Student Leaders; Creating Change and Impact; Ethics and Values; and Current Diversity Trends and Issues.

Students Impress at Research Symposium

More than 400 SDSU students across 80 majors and disciplines showcased their original research at the fifth annual Student Research Symposium March 9-10 in the SDSU Library. The two-day symposium recognizes the outstanding scholarly accomplishments of SDSU students and provides a public forum where SDSU students from every major and program can present their research, scholarship or creative activities. The Student Research Symposium is one of the signature events of SDSU Month. Ten presidential awards of $500 recognized outstanding achievement in original scholarship. The graduate and undergraduate awardees will represent San Diego State at the California State University Student Research Competition in May.

Despite the serious fiscal challenges facing our state, we are fortunate to be part of a dedicated community of talented students, faculty and staff. We are also grateful for the continued support of our alumni throughout the nation and our many friends and supporters in the San Diego region. As a leadership team, we thank you for your support and for your commitment to our core missions of education, research and community service.