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University Update

University Update

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April 18, 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
Vice President and Graduate Dean Stephen Welter

The spring semester is rapidly coming to a close. As we begin to focus our attention on commencement, there is much information to share and to celebrate.

Building on Excellence

The university's strategic planning process, which began in July 2012, reached an important milestone with the publication of the strategic plan on April 15. “Building on Excellence” focuses on three broad institutional goals, Student Success, Research and Creative Endeavors, and Community and Communication. The plan focuses our efforts for success by building on areas of excellence and the values we share at SDSU. The plan establishes a clear direction for the next several years. We would like to thank the many members of the university community who participated in the process.

The process, however, is not over. As we begin the implementation phase, there will be opportunities for broad community participation. Updates and additional information about the implementation of the plan will be provided in the near future. To read the full strategic plan and to stay informed about the process, visit the strategic planning website.

University Budget

The Governor's Proposed 2013/14 Budget for the state of California was released in January, as was reported in a prior University Update. While we are waiting for the “May revise” budget and Legislative action leading to a final state budget for 2013/14, we have reviewed our funding status for the remainder of this year. Due to our long-standing conservative budget approach and the revenue initiatives we have undertaken, we have accumulated sufficient one-time funds for allocation this year. The President's Budget Advisory Committee (PBAC) met on March 14 and considered divisional recommendations for use of these one-time funds. PBAC recommended allocating $9 million for instructional equipment, lab upgrades, critical repairs to the steam system that serves the campus, additional support for The Campaign for SDSU, and facility improvements in support of student recruitment activities and student career services. President Hirshman approved this recommendation and allocated an additional $1 million in support of research and creative endeavors. After the allocation of these one-time funds, the university retains a one-time reserve going into next fiscal year that is sufficient to provide a cushion against unanticipated negative budget occurrences.

Allocation of base budget funds for 2013/14 will be the subject of PBAC meetings through June. The release of the state's “May revise” will enable us to make a considered judgment about the amount of funding available for allocation, and PBAC will recommend a 2013/14 budget to President Hirshman by mid-June. We are optimistic that there will be additional funds available for continuing and one-time purposes in the coming year. PBAC information is available on the Budget and Finance website.

Campaign for SDSU

The Campaign for SDSU is now at $395 million with over 41,000 gifts made by alumni, friends, faculty, staff, parents and community partners. Ten percent of the gifts to The Campaign have come from SDSU faculty and staff. Over $211 million of the total has been designated for faculty and program support and another $55 million for student success. This year is on track to break all records for fundraising at SDSU, an extraordinary effort by our deans, chairs, faculty, students, staff and fundraisers.

High-Impact Practices

The University continues to promote student success through internships and other high-impact practices. To advance our initiatives, Provost Marlin and Vice President Kitchen created the Campus Internship Committee (CIC). The CIC is a collaborative of representatives from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Business and Financial Affairs, and Associated Students working to ensure quality educational experiences for students who participate in a range of internships. These efforts will allow the University to demonstrate how students are involved with internships, with what impacts, and how they are supported by consistent campus practices. Dr. James Tarbox serves as the chair of the CIC.

Additionally, our university continues to help students study abroad, another high-impact practice, and to achieve distinction as Fulbright Scholars. More than 40 students have been granted Fulbright awards since 2005, and to date seven more have been granted awards for 2013-2014.

Support for Campus Scholarship

The campus has initiated several programs totaling $1 million dollars that are intended to strengthen opportunities for academic scholarship by faculty and students at SDSU. A call was sent out to all colleges for strategic investments in infrastructure, equipment or one-time resources ranging between $50,000 to 200,000. In addition, a program was announced which, on approval, offered to fund pre-review of grants by external reviewers in the area of expertise prior to submission so as to help with faculty grant success.

Large collaborative grants or federal training grants for graduate students can often have significant transformative effects on departments, but the time required for the creation of these proposals can also be significant. Upon approval, funds will be allocated to support release time for a faculty member to pay for a replacement lecturer to offset some of the instructor's teaching requirements while ensuring that campus teaching needs are being met. Examples of federal programs include Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program at NSF (IGERT) (NSF), NIH Institutional Research Training Grants, NIH Program Planning grants, multi-faculty NEA grants, or large inter-disciplinary grants.

Our Gratitude

As we finish the spring semester, it is important to recognize the collective contribution of our faculty and staff. Between May 16 and May 19, we will confer 9038 degrees; this would not be possible without your commitment and dedication. Thank you for all that you do to support the university.