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University Update

University Update

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Dec. 14, 2011

Governor's Announcement of Trigger Cut

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

Vice Presidents Sally Roush, Mary Ruth Carleton and James Kitchen

Dear Colleagues,

The 2011-12 state budget for the CSU contained a provision for a mid-year reduction of $100 million if California's revenues failed to meet projections. Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown announced that this "trigger cut" will take effect.

This reduction is in addition to the $650-million reduction to the CSU budget in this year's state budget — which will continue into the next fiscal year as a permanent reduction. San Diego State University's share of the additional reduction is approximately $7.8 million. Given our conservative planning and budgeting, there are one-time funds available to meet the additional reduction in the current year.

The President's Budget Advisory Committee (PBAC) will meet in January to provide a recommendation regarding the distribution of the cut in the current year, and will incorporate the permanent reduction into its planning for next fiscal year.

This additional reduction does, however, exacerbate our long-term fiscal challenges. Given the current reduction, our state appropriation has been reduced by approximately $95 million since 2007-2008. This represents an approximate 43-percent reduction in our state appropriation, an appropriation that now represents less than 20 percent of the total budget of the university and its auxiliary organizations.

While we will not be pursuing a mid-year increase in tuition fees or campus-based fees, we are taking a number of important steps to enhance our financial stability.

First, to advocate against further reductions, we have created the Aztec Action Network. With connections to more than 120,000 alumni and supporters of San Diego State University, the network is a grass-roots effort to help members of our community convey their support of the university to elected officials. We will invite our faculty, staff and students to join our alumni and other supporters in the network. These efforts will be especially important as we seek to prevent future reductions.

Second, we continue to pursue all possible cost reductions and efficiencies. Thanks to the efforts of our faculty and staff, we are already an incredibly efficient university. Third, we must pursue initiatives to increase revenue. A primary example, private philanthropy, as reflected in our first university-wide fundraising campaign, is critical to our continued advancement.

While our challenges are formidable, our commitment to the excellence and access that defines a leading public research university is even greater. We thank our faculty, staff and students for all of your efforts and support. We will continue to work together as a community to address our fiscal challenges and create a promising future for our university.