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University Update

University Update

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Dec. 5, 2011

University Update

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

Vice Presidents Sally Roush, Mary Ruth Carleton and James Kitchen

As we come to the end of the fall semester, we are writing to update you about some of the university’s recent accomplishments, as well as some of our continuing challenges. Most importantly, we wish to thank and acknowledge all of our students, faculty and staff for their extraordinary efforts and accomplishments this semester. These collective efforts make us a special community. We are a community that, despite formidable fiscal challenges, continues to advance students personally, professionally and intellectually. We are a community whose research and creative endeavors are addressing regional and national challenges and we are a community that is engaged in supporting our region at many, many levels. We have much to be proud of and much to celebrate.

Regrettably, we must again begin our update with a discussion of fiscal challenges.

Budget Update

In past updates, we have reported that the 2011-12 budget for the CSU contained a provision for a mid-year reduction of $100 million system wide if state of California revenues failed to meet projections. Current information indicates the revenues will be sufficiently below projections and that this mid-year “trigger” cut will occur. SDSU’s share of the system wide reduction is $7.8 million. Given the conservative fiscal approach of our Vice-Presidents, Deans, and Chairs, there are one-time funds available to meet this reduction.

On Nov. 16, the CSU Board of Trustees forwarded the FY 2012-2013 budget request for $333 million in additional funding for the CSU to the Governor. This funding would replace a portion of the funds reduced this year. The Governor will consider this proposal as he prepares the overall state budget proposal. The Governor’s budget proposal will be available in mid-January. To help advance our budget request and prevent further reductions, we have created the Aztec Action Network. With connections to over 120,000 members of our community, the Network is a grass roots effort to help members of our community convey their support of the university to elected officials. Please look for periodic messages regarding critical budget issues.

The CSU Board of Trustees also approved a tuition increase of $498 per year that will be effective for the fall of 2012. The amount of revenue generated by the tuition increase will depend on actual enrollment, but assuming enrollment similar to this year we estimate the tuition increase will generate approximately $10.2 million in FY 2012-2013. These funds are critical to address structural deficits throughout the university so we can maintain our ongoing academic and co-curricular programs. As in prior years, we will also allocate funding from this tuition increase to support substantial increases in financial aid for students facing financial challenges.

The state budget situation remains challenging and fluid. As new information is available, we will share it.

Public Phase Kickoff Drives The Campaign for SDSU Beyond $280 Million

Increasing private philanthropy is critical to the university’s long term success and progress. A surge of giving – following the launch of the public phase of our fundraising campaign in September – has pushed The Campaign for SDSU beyond $280 million. Donors have responded overwhelmingly to the opportunity to support students, faculty and staff and propel SDSU to the next level of excellence. Recent gifts include:

  • Several bequests totaling $1.5 million the will benefit SDSU’s College of Education, the Department of Classics and Humanities, and university-wide scholarships
  • $1 million from Catherine Stiefel, '92, and J. Keith Behner, '71, for the Charles W. Lamden School of Accountancy and SDSU’s Center for Latin American Studies
  • $400,000 from the Hilton Foundation to support the SDSU Guardian Scholars Program
  • $300,000 from Platinum Equity, owners of The San Diego Union-Tribune, to the SDSU School of Journalism and Media Studies

Among the gifts received this fiscal year is more than $300,000 from hundreds of donors to SDSU’s Annual Fund, a vital pipeline for smaller gifts to the campaign. The purpose of The Campaign for SDSU is to build support for our students, faculty, staff and programs as we educate future leaders.

SDSU Receives a Record 69,225 Applications for Fall 2012

SDSU received a record 69,225 undergraduate applications for the fall 2012 semester - a 15 percent increase over last year. The previous record was 62,230 undergraduate applications received for fall 2008. The application period for fall 2012 closed on November 30. SDSU received 50,790 freshmen and 18,435 upper-division transfer students. Freshmen applications are up 14 percent while upper-division transfer applications are up 19 percent. The academic caliber of students applying to SDSU continues to rise. The fall 2011 freshmen enrollees were among the most academically accomplished in university history with an average high school GPA of 3.62 and 1080 SAT score (based only on the math and verbal sections). The fall 2011 freshman class is also the most diverse in SDSU history.

SDSU Among Nation’s Top Producers of Fulbrights

SDSU has more student Fulbright recipients than any other California State University and is tied with UCLA for third in California behind Stanford (25) and UC Berkeley (12).The Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, recently announced the complete list of colleges and universities that produced the most 2011-2012 U.S. Fulbright students and SDSU is among them. The success of the top-producing institutions is highlighted in the Oct. 24 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education.SDSU’s 2011-12 recipients are currently abroad in Spain, Denmark, South Korea and other countries to teach and conduct research.More than 40 SDSU students have received Fulbright Scholarships since 2005.

SDSU Ranked No. 22 for Study Abroad

SDSU ranks No. 22 in the nation and third in California for the number of students studying abroad, according to the Institute for International Education’s new Open Doors Report. SDSU also ranked first in California and second nationally for universities with the Carnegie classification “research university with high research activity.”In 2009-2010, the school year for which the ranking was based, 1,835 SDSU students studied in a different country. In 2008-2009, 1,674 SDSU students studied abroad.Over the past decade, SDSU has made international study a central part of the educational experience for students. SDSU offers over 335 education abroad programs in 52 different countries and continues to expand its international offerings, most recently establishing a partnership with Bahçesehir University in Istanbul, Turkey. The first cohort from the College of Business Administration will travel there in spring 2012.

Researchers Leading Innovation and Discovery

SDSU researchers continue to be among the most productive in the nation, securing 799 research grants and contracts worth nearly $145.2 million during the last fiscal year. Multiple faculty and staff across campus conduct research in a variety of disciplines, and SDSU receives funding from many different sources:

  • SDSU was awarded 51 grants from the National Science Foundation, totaling $8,952,230.
  • The National Institutes of Health awarded San Diego State researchers 103 grants with funding from that agency alone totaling $32.2 million.
  • SDSU is one of four universities nationwide to be awarded a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to combat childhood obesity. In October, SDSU announced it will receive more than $6 million over four years to support the Childhood Obesity Demonstration Project.
  • In November, SDSU announced a $1.8 million Department of Defense grant to train nearly 200 additional U.S. Marines in critical languages spoken throughout the Middle East. The one-year grant was one of five awarded nationwide.

Also in November, Stephen Welter, SDSU’s new VP of Research & Dean of Graduate Affairs, officially began his appointment. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Welter and wishing him much success.

As we come to the end of the semester, there is much to celebrate. As always, it is the efforts of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community supporters that produce our success. We thank you for everything you do and we wish everyone a happy and a healthy holiday season and new year.