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University Update

University Update

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October 10, 2013

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. This fall, U.S. News and World Report ranked San Diego State No. 14 on its list of top “Up-and-coming” national universities. Similarly, the Washington Post reported that our national ranking has increased the most of all universities since 2011. This national recognition reflects the diligent efforts and innovative spirit of our faculty, staff and students during a period of significant challenge. We are deeply appreciative of the communal efforts that led to this national recognition.

Financial & Budget Update

We are very pleased to report that, for the first time in many years, the outlook for the 2013/2014 budget year is stable. As will be described below, our fall 2013 enrollments have met our projections. Consistent with these enrollments, our tuition revenues are meeting our revenue projections. Similarly, our state appropriation is stable. These factors, combined with other revenue initiatives (e.g., see “The Campaign for SDSU” below), have allowed us to make significant investments as described in the section on “Strategic Planning” below. Depending on the outcomes of our continuing revenue initiatives and our spring enrollments, we may be able to make additional investments in our people and our programs in the spring term.


After a period of significant challenge, we have taken multiple steps to increase employee compensation this year. First, we allocated approximately $400,000 to provide Equity II increases to eligible faculty members and $400,000 to fund in-range progression requests for staff members. Second, we allocated $3.8 million and $2.7 million, respectively, to cover increased costs for our retirement plans and health benefits.

Third, the Chancellor's Office has reached agreements with system-wide employee organizations (California Faculty Association (CFA), Academic Professionals of California (APC) and the California State University Employees Union (CSUEU)) for salary increases.

  • Faculty members will receive an annual increase of $960 per full time equivalency. This increase is in addition to the Equity II increases that some university faculty received.
  • Staff represented by APC will receive a 1.34 % increase for all APC bargaining unit members.
  • Staff represented by CSUEU will receive a 1.34% increase with a minimum increase of $40 per month for full time employees.
  • In addition, a compensation pool equal to 1.34% has been approved for Confidential and MPP employees.

Salary increases are retroactive to July 1, 2013 and will be paid at a later date. Negotiations on salary increases with other bargaining units are on-going.

Strategic Planning: Building on Excellence

The university's strategic plan, “Building on Excellence” focuses on three broad institutional goals, Student Success, Research and Creative Endeavors, and Community and Communication. To date, the university has allocated more than $26.7 million in one-time funds and $11.7 million in base budget funds to address critical support needs and strategic plan initiatives identified in the planning process. Specific investments include the hiring of additional faculty and staff in areas of critical need, the opening of the writing center, the selection of four research areas of excellence, the launch of the Aztec Mentor Program in Career Services, and the appointment of C. Anthony Keen as the inaugural coordinator of the LGBT Pride Center. A complete listing of investments to date can be found on the strategic plan website “Building on Excellence.

To further support our implementation of “Building on Excellence,” broadly representative cross-divisional working groups have been convened to support the attainment of the plan's specific goals. These groups are responsible for recommending and executing initiatives to help the university attain the plan's goals. A complete listing of the strategic plan working groups can be found at the “Building on Excellence” website.

We appreciate your support of these initiatives and we encourage your continuing feedback on the planning process.

The Campaign for SDSU

The Campaign for SDSU continues toward its $500 million goal. Over 44,000 gifts have been made to the campaign and the campaign has now raised over $426 million. Alumni and community support have increased over the last year and are now stronger than ever. The endowment for San Diego State has grown to $160 million which is a very encouraging development for the long range financial strength of the university. Additional information about the campaign can be found at the Campaign for SDSU website.

Enrollment Management

As described above, our fall enrollments have met our projections.

FTES and Headcount
The fall 2013 total FTES is 28,982 with 28,358 FTES on the San Diego campus and 624 FTES on the Imperial Valley Calexico and Brawley campuses. The fall 2013 total resident FTES is 26,460 or 161 FTES above our budgeted resident fall FTES target of 26,299. For the entire 2013/14 year, we currently project that we will be 110 FTES or 0.4 percent above our 2013/14 budgeted resident FTES target. The total fall 2013 headcount is 32,759 with 31,899 enrolled on the San Diego campus, 883 enrolled on the Imperial Valley Campus and 26 enrolled on both campuses.

Freshman Academic Profile
The academic preparation level of fall 2013 first-time freshmen is similar to last year's, with the average high school grade point average on A-G college preparatory courses at 3.61 and the average SAT score on the verbal and math sections of the SAT at 1106.

Undergraduate Diversity
First-time freshmen of color comprised 59.1 percent of resident first-time freshmen, while new transfer students of color comprised 55.4 percent of resident transfer students. The university's overall undergraduate percentage of students of color increased this fall to 53.3 percent from 52.6 percent in fall 2012.

Additional enrollment management information can be found at

Student Union Update

We anticipate construction of the Aztec Student Union to be completed in December and we look forward to a series of opening events for the Union throughout the spring semester. The theme of these events will be “Welcome Home.” The Aztec Student Union will be open on the first day of the spring semester, Jan. 22, with student events and tours starting that week. A grand dedication week of events will be held March 3 - 8, with the official dedication of the building occurring Friday, March 7. All members of the campus community, as well as those in the local community and alumni are invited to share in the celebration!

Collective Success

As all of the foregoing indicates, this is an exciting time for the university. Our people make the difference and our communal successes are due to the diligent and sustained efforts of our faculty and staff. We are deeply appreciative of your commitment to our missions of education, research and community service. Thank you for everything you do for the university and best wishes for a productive and rewarding fall semester.