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University Update

University Update

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May 19, 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

We write to provide an update on a number of significant university developments.

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. During the spring, we were able to pursue additional investments of one-time funds in our people and our programs as a result of revenue from strong enrollment and other revenue initiatives.

This past week, Governor Brown released his May revision to the 2014-15 budget for the state of California. Consistent with the governor's multi-year funding plan and the initial budget released in January, the budget contains an additional $142.2 million for the CSU. Our allocation of this funding, coupled with funding from our campus revenue initiatives, will result in funding of mandatory costs and approximately $5 million of additional base budget allocations to the University Operating Fund. The President's Budget Advisory Committee (PBAC) has begun to consider divisional recommendations for additional base budget and one-time allocation. The focus will continue to be on critical support needs and initiatives that support our strategic plan. PBAC will recommend a 2014-15 budget to President Hirshman for his approval by early June. Compensation increases for 2014-2015 will be contingent on the outcome of collective bargaining.

Fall 2014 will be the first semester of the Student Success Fee. Ninety percent of the revenues from the fee will support tenure-track faculty, allowing the university to recruit 35 tenure-track faculty who will start in Fall 2015. Currently, the deans are working with their schools and departments to identify academic priorities. These will be submitted to Academic Affairs in early June, at which time the Senate Tenure-Track committee will prioritize the overall campus academic priorities. Final decisions will be made in mid-July, and advertising will commence immediately. Ten percent of the revenues from the fee will go toward academically related co-curricular programs. In addition, the university will provide one-time funding for 50 new course sections to facilitate students' academic progress to their degrees in fall of 2014.

Strategic Plan: Building on Excellence

April 15 marked the one-year anniversary of the completion of the university's strategic plan, “Building on Excellence.” Over the last year, we have made significant progress in the three focus areas – Student Success, Research and Creative Endeavors and Community and Communication – identified in the plan. To date, the university has allocated nearly $43 million in one-time funds and more than $12 million in base budget funds to address critical support needs and strategic plan initiatives identified in the planning process. This summer, we will gather performance measures to review the impact of the allocated funds and the efforts of the strategic plan working groups.

The strategic plan website provides a complete listing of recent investments. Significant milestones include the opening or initiation of the Arts Alive SDSU Initiative, the Aztec Mentor Program, the Aztec Scholars program to support the recruitment and retention of historically under-represented students, the Commuter Resource Center, Faculty Recruitment in the areas of research excellence, the Get Together, Give Back program supporting faculty and staff morale, the Honors College, the Pride Center, and the Writing Center, as well as the expansion of the University Grants program, Zahn Innovation Center, the Student Research Symposium, and college-level resources to support student international experiences. Significant pilot projects have also been undertaken in the areas of integrative diversity, learning analytics, national branding and marketing, neighborhood outreach, enhancing campus climate for persons of varying abilities, and the recruitment and retention of under-represented faculty. Important steps were also taken to support increases in faculty and staff compensation with the provision of funds for in-range progressions for staff and the faculty Equity II program. Click here for more information about these and other selected accomplishments [website currently being updated – each item listed will have a short paragraph].

Campaign for SDSU

The Campaign for SDSU is at 99 percent of its goal, having reached the $494 million mark. To date, $371 million has been raised to support faculty and $91 million to support students. Some 46,500 donors have contributed to The Campaign during the nearly seven years of fundraising for SDSU, and we have received some 122,100 gifts from those donors. As of May, SDSU has received 90 gifts of $1 million or more. The Campaign is expected to exceed the $500 million goal by the end of June.

The Campaign for SDSU is providing critical support to the initiatives outlined in our strategic plan. Funds raised support initiatives in the areas of study abroad, integrative diversity, research and the recently approved Honors College to name a few. As one example, The Campaign for SDSU has raised more than $5.9 million to support the Honors College.

Academic Affairs Leadership

This summer will be a time of significant leadership transition for our university. At the end of June, Provost Nancy Marlin will return to the faculty after 16 years of distinguished service as provost. We offer Provost Marlin our sincerest appreciation for her transformative contributions over the last 16 years. In July, we will welcome Dr. Chukuka Enwemeka as our new provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs.

This spring we welcomed Dr. Joseph Johnson as the dean of the College of Education and Dr. Morteza Monte Mehrabadi as the dean of the College of Engineering. In July, Dr. J. Dennis Cradit will join the SDSU community as the dean of the College of Business Administration.

Enrollment Update

Against a demographic trend of decreasing numbers of high school graduates in California, the number of freshmen who have submitted an “intent to enroll” at SDSU has exceeded its target. The increase from local and non-local admits in the highest eligibility index ranges of 4100 and above accounted for virtually all of the increase. The average grade point average for our resident California freshmen students who submitted an “intent to enroll” for fall 2014 is 3.73 (compared to 3.64 in fall 2013). The average SAT is 1118 (compared to 1108 in fall 2013). San Diego State University continues to maintain its ethnic diversity and commitment to our local service area while attracting higher-achieving students. Students of color are projected to be 59.5 percent of the new freshman class and local area students account for 38 percent.

Furthermore, the Aztecs Scholars Initiative (see above description of strategic plan) has boosted the number of African American and American Indian students submitting their intents to enroll. The Harambee (designed for African American students) and Elymash Yuuchaap (designed for American Indian students) efforts have yielded promising initial results with intents to enroll increasing 29 percent for African American students and 156 percent for American Indian students over last year.

At a time when many universities nationally are finding it difficult to meet their enrollment goals, the fact that SDSU continues to attract a high-achieving, diverse freshmen class is a testament to the quality of our programs, the dedication of our faculty and staff, our commitment to student success and our vibrant campus life.

Research Successes

New faculty hires projected for 2013-14 and 2014-15 are expected to bring new energy, ideas, and approaches to our collective research and creative activities. Of the 10 faculty lines in the areas of excellence, 6 searches have either been completed or are nearly completed. The quality of all our new hires is exciting and should help tremendously with moving our teaching and scholarship forward. Two areas of excellence, the Climate Change and Sustainability Studies area and the Human Dynamics in a Mobile Age area, have already found opportunities for synergistic collaboration with a cross-college, multi-disciplinary $12M proposal to NSF to develop a center on climate change on our campus. New research initiatives within or across different colleges that have received funding to catalyze their shared interests include programs such as digital humanities, LGBT scholarship, and advanced energy systems.

Growing Our Aztec Family

Outlined in the strategic plan is our commitment to increase tenured/tenure-track faculty and staff levels to meet critical and strategic needs by investing significant resources over the next three years. So far in 2013-14 we have welcomed 46 new staff members, and we anticipate having more than 50 new tenured/tenure-track faculty join us this fall. We also plan to welcome approximately 8,000 new students to campus this fall. Many of these new students, accompanied by their parents and/or family members, will be on campus this summer for orientation.

Our Gratitude

As we conclude the spring semester, it is important to recognize the extraordinary effort and collective contribution of our faculty and staff. This past weekend we conferred 9,271 degrees; this would not be possible without your commitment and dedication. Thank you for all that you do to support our university.


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