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University Update

University Update

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October 2, 2014

University Update

TO: SDSU Faculty and Staff
 
FROM: President Elliot Hirshman
Provost and Senior Vice President Chukuka S. Enwemeka

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. As we proceed in the fall semester, there is much information to share and many accomplishments to celebrate.

Budget, Finance and Capital Planning

Budget Stability
After a period of significant budgetary challenges, our budget is stable. Enrollments, representing an increase of 175 full time equivalent students over last year, and corresponding tuition revenues, have met our projections (see Enrollment Management Update below). Moreover, our state appropriation has increased modestly. This increase in state appropriation has allowed the CSU to create a 3% compensation increase pool. The collective bargaining process is underway and, once it concludes, we anticipate that compensation increases will be retroactive to July 1, 2014.

The modest increase in state appropriation, coupled with funding from our numerous campus revenue initiatives, has allowed us to allocate approximately $5 million in additional base budget funds to the University Operating Fund. The allocation of these funds was recommended by the President's Budget Advisory Committee, and approved by President Hirshman, in June. The focus of these allocations continues to be on critical support needs and initiatives that support our strategic plan.

The SDSU Student Success Fee is now in place. 90% of the fee provides funding to hire tenure-track faculty and reduce bottleneck courses. 10% of the fee supports co-curricular academic opportunities for students via a proposal process which is currently underway. We have already experienced the benefit of this fee with a marked increase in course sections this fall.

New Capital Financing Authority
The 2014-2015 budget provided the CSU and its universities with significant new statutory authority to address long-standing facility needs, including the construction of new facilities. This legislative change shifts the responsibility, and authority, for capital project financing from the State to the CSU system and its individual universities. While this new responsibility comes without funding, this authority provides greater options for addressing our deferred maintenance and new construction priorities.

Capital Construction
We are well underway with the initial planning for the new Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex. The new capital financing authority provides us many options for moving this long-awaited project forward. In addition, the Page Pavilion renovation project in the College of Business Administration is well underway and the Jeff Jacobs JAM Center (basketball performance center) broke ground last month with an anticipated completion by summer 2015. The South Campus Plaza mixed use development was approved by the Board of Trustees on September 10th and will break ground this fall. It consists of 650+ student beds, 35,000 square feet of retail space and a 300 car parking structure. It is located on the southern border of the campus along the west side of College Avenue between Hardy Avenue and Montezuma Road in an area currently occupied by temporary trailers and vacated apartments. The housing is scheduled for completion by August 2016 with the retail components following within the next several months. This project represents significant enhancements for our campus and the broader community.

Enrollment Management

Our fall enrollments have met our projections.

Full-time equivalent (FTE) and Headcount
The fall 2014 total FTES is 29,815 with 29,136 FTES on the San Diego campus and 679 FTES on the Imperial Valley Calexico and Brawley campuses. The fall 2014 total resident FTES is 26,726. For the 2014-2015 year, we currently project that we will be 167 FTES or 0.6 percent above our 2014-2015 budgeted resident FTES target. The total fall 2014 headcount is 33,483 with 32,576 enrolled on the San Diego campus, 951 enrolled on the Imperial Valley Campus and 44 enrolled on both campuses.

Freshman Academic Profile
The academic preparation level of fall 2014 first-time freshmen increased to the highest level in SDSU history with the average high school grade point average on college preparatory courses at 3.69 and the average SAT score on the critical reading and mathematics sections of the SAT at 1115.

Undergraduate Diversity
First-time freshmen of color comprised 58.8 percent of resident first-time freshmen, while new transfer students of color comprised 57.1 percent of resident transfer students. The university's overall undergraduate percentage of students of color increased this fall to 54 percent from 53.3 percent in fall 2013.

Additional enrollment management information can be found here.

Strategic Plan: Building on Excellence

We have begun the second year of implementing 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. The strategic plan website provides detailed information about the university's investments. Moreover, the strategic plan website provides a detailed account of the progress made in 2013-2014 as well as the summary reports for each working group. It also provides a detailed outline of our goals and priorities for 2014-2015.

Significant milestones from year one of implementation 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. We thank all involved for their contributions and look forward to sharing additional updates in the near future.

The Campaign for SDSU

The Campaign for SDSU has entered a new phase. With the campaign having exceeded its original goal of $500 million, the Campanile Foundation board voted unanimously to continue with a campaign extension and an increased goal of $750 million. The new goal requires us to raise $250 million over the next 3 years, with the main focus on endowments for the Honors College, Research, Scholarships and Faculty. Another key priority is to raise private funds to build the new Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex discussed above.

As of today, $520 million has been raised to support SDSU and the endowment is now at $185 million. Over the first phase of the campaign, 48,000 individuals made gifts to support SDSU; 60% of those donors were first time supporters of the university. These donors made a total of 131,000 gifts, meaning that many people made multiple gifts to San Diego State during the first phase of the campaign. Current and former faculty and staff were significant contributors. They have given nearly $49 million to support SDSU. That is almost 10% of the total given to the campaign.

The two main areas of support for the first seven years of the campaign were students and faculty. Over $106 million has been raised to support students through scholarships, fellowships, and internships. Over $380 million has been raised for faculty chairs and professorships, visiting lecturers and academic programs. The goal for this fiscal year is to reach $580 million in support by June 30, 2015.

Research and Graduate Initiatives

This fall, the campus will be implementing a new program to help faculty obtain grants needed to support their scholarship. The “Grant Academy”, will begin in November 2014 with a call for applications to be sent in early October. A cohort of new grant writers will meet weekly for five weeks with on-campus and off-campus experts. The goal of the program is for each participant to craft a grant submission by the completion of the program.

We will also be enhancing graduate program recruiting this year using new on-line software, “Radius”, from Hobson's. This software will allow students to provide supplemental materials with their applications. Similarly, outside references will submit letters of reference electronically. Using these systems, students' digital applications will be available for faculty review on-line. Twenty eight graduate programs will be piloted in fall 2014, including 12 JDP and DPT and 16 Master's programs across five colleges.

Community Dialogue on Sexual Assault

Universities across the country are grappling with the issue of sexual assault on their campuses and SDSU is no exception. The safety of our students is our highest priority and we are committed to ensuring that sexual violence stops on our campus and in the broader society. One sexual assault is too many.

We, as a community, are pursuing many initiatives to educate, stimulate dialogue and change long-standing cultural perspectives. We are committed to increasing awareness of sexual violence, how to report it – and most importantly – how to prevent it. Similarly, we want our campus community to know that sexual violence is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. In this context, the university has been working as quickly as possible to address specific incidents, as well as the larger issues relating to the culture prevalent on college campuses and in our broader society. Our initiatives encompass all provisions of the recently signed Affirmative Consent legislation.

Our initiatives include the creation of a new Sexual Violence Task Force, the opening of a Women's Center whose full-time coordinator will serve as a central campus resource and expanded awareness and prevention training for students, faculty, staff and parents. A detailed letter summarizing our approaches will be sent to all students. Find a comprehensive description of the university's efforts.

These initiatives are part of a comprehensive approach to change the culture, behavior and attitudes that cause sexual violence on our campus. To accomplish these essential goals, we must, as a community, advance our education and prevention efforts with a core focus on creating a campus where all are respected and all are safe. This significant cultural change must be accomplished collectively and we encourage all members of our community to participate in this on-going conversation.

Our Gratitude

Our people make the difference. 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.

 

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