A Message from President Mildred García
August 3, 2012
Dear Members of the Titan Family:
I wanted to take a moment to update you about the action taken by the CSU Board of Trustees in response to the final state budget approved last month by the legislature and signed by Governor Brown. As you may know from press reports, it has resulted in a total $650 million cut to the CSU with another possible $100 million cut in December, depending on state revenue trends.
CSU officials had indicated at the May trustees’ meeting that if the system was cut beyond the initial $500 million proposed by Governor Brown, it would be necessary to return to the board in July for tuition action. Faced with these unprecedented budget cuts, this week the CSU Board of Trustees increased tuition by an additional 12 percent effective this fall.
To address the "first" $500 million of cuts, Cal State Fullerton, along with the Chancellor's office and the other 22 CSU campuses have done all we can to find efficiencies and reduce administrative and institutional costs. Enrollments have fallen and the number of faculty and staff working for the CSU has dropped 9 percent. Because further cuts to programs would cause lasting damage to student access and education quality, we really had no choice but to offset the additional loss of $150 million in General Fund support from the state with the tuition fee approved Tuesday, July 12.
The 12 percent increase will raise tuition fees by $294 per semester for full-time undergraduate students, $339 for credential program participants and $360 for graduate students. One-third of the revenue from the tuition increase will be allocated for financial aid. This provision, combined with other grants and fee waivers, will cover the cost increase for nearly half of all CSU undergraduates.
With the additional tuition revenue, Cal State Fullerton will focus on serving our current students by offering as many classes and course sections as possible. We also will be able to open enrollment for the spring 2012 term, which is critical for our community college transfer students.
The final budget also includes another surprise for the CSU -- the prospect of an additional $100 million cut if estimated state revenues do not come to fruition. What this means is that we may face another hit mid-year, which we will have to implement in spring. The result would be a $750 million total hit to the CSU -- a 27 percent year-to-year reduction in state support, and the lowest funding level we have received in 14 years even though we are serving more than 90,000 additional students.
At Cal State Fullerton, we are doing everything we can to minimize the impact but these kinds of reductions will not go undetected by students, faculty, staff and others involved in the university. I have been working with the campus community in determining the best way for us to manage these cuts. To date our specific actions have included: reducing admissions; instituting a hiring freeze; eliminating faculty, staff and student positions; eliminating non-essential travel; and making large cuts in operations and expenditures.
We thank you for your ongoing efforts on behalf of the university and will continue to keep you informed as we move forward on actions the CSU must take to mitigate this newest round of cuts.