From the Desk of the President Archive - March 2011

President Gonzalez

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I want to update everyone on the latest budget news.

The California State University system continues to prepare for a $500 million reduction in state funding, as proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown. As of this moment, the proposals to extend the taxes necessary to maintain this “best-case scenario” have not been placed on the ballot for a statewide special election.

Please remember that if the additional revenues from the tax extensions do not materialize, the CSU could be hit with a cut of double the original proposal, or $1 billion.

For now, Sacramento State is facing a general fund reduction of nearly $27 million compared with the baseline established in January. This is based on a projected general fund state allocation of about $116.4 million for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

To give you an idea of the drastic cuts we have dealt with in recent years, our appropriation in the 2007-08 fiscal year was $165.5 million.

With other factors taken into consideration – including higher tuition, higher mandatory costs (such as benefits) and availability of one-time funds – the University Budget Advisory Committee is asking all divisions to plan for a 9.7 percent reduction, or about $12.88 million. Campus divisions are now preparing those plans.

We also continue to plan for a 2011-12 enrollment target of 21,625 full-time equivalent students (FTES), which is about the same as the current academic year.

I, along with UBAC, recognize that deeper budget cuts could be coming, depending on what happens at the State Capitol.

The state budget’s highly uncertain nature is precisely why we established a prudent budget approach for the campus – and why we are maintaining that approach today. We have resisted the temptation to solely rely on one-time money to cover permanent reductions. This has meant we have had to make difficult, but necessary, decisions to reduce expenditures on our campus.

We will continue to post budget information on Public Affairs’ Budget Central page at www.csus.edu/pa/budget. You can also check my web page for additional updates at: www.csus.edu/president/fromthedeskofthepresident.html.

Thank you for your diligent work on behalf of our students as the budget picture begins to emerge.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Friday, March 18, 2011

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan have resulted in tragic loss of life and destruction, and the disaster’s effects continue to pose threats to safety.

As a result, Chancellor Charles B. Reed closed all California State University programs in Japan and directed campuses to bring back any of our students who are there.

Sacramento State had three students studying in Japan. One has already returned, and the other two are scheduled to arrive back in the United States this weekend.

We also have 17 students from Japan currently enrolled on our campus. Staff have reached out to them, and from what we know now, their families are safe. Our thoughts are with them as they cope with the devastation to their homeland.

The Chancellor’s Office has asked campuses to note that the American Red Cross is taking donations in response to the earthquake and tsunami. More information is available at www.redcross.org.

Additionally, the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) has set up a Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund to help victims of the disaster in Japan. The JCCCNC is devoting 100 percent of the donations to this fund to citizen relief efforts conducted by non-government organizations in Japan. The fund is focusing on relief, recovery and rebuilding. More information is available at www.jcccnc.org.

Sacramento State has very close ties to Japan, and I join everyone who is keeping our friends and loved ones across the Pacific in their thoughts and prayers.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I recently went to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of California’s House and Senate delegations, as well as Col. David Sutherland from the U.S. Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff office.

The meetings were very productive, and topics included our students’ need for Pell Grants, our success in Nursing education and the achievements of our Veterans Success Center.

More than 10,000 Sacramento State students receive Pell Grants, and I asked staff from four Congressional representatives and both of our senators to maintain overall funding for the program and continue the maximum grant. In the last academic year, we disbursed more than $42 million in Pell Grants as part of nearly $147 million in federal financial aid. This support is essential to our students, and it was encouraging to see that our elected leaders in Washington understand the difference this aid makes in so many lives.

For those of you who are curious, we also awarded more than $2.8 million in scholarships during the same period.

I first met Col. Sutherland when he visited our campus in October, and he remains impressed with the comprehensive services we offer student veterans and their families. Our initiatives include support and services before, during and after their time at Sacramento State. We are working to become a national model for veterans education, and our efforts – from individuals and programs all across our campus – are being noticed at the national level.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I am pleased to announce that Katie Beekman is the Employee of the Month for March 2011.

She is an administrative analyst/specialist in Information Resources and Technology. Her nominator described her as, “exhibiting an outstanding overall sense of belonging while promoting campus client service, dedication, and professionalism in her role as campus operator supervisor. The campus averages 94,000 operator calls a year; 99.9% of the campus operator calls have a direct correlation to the success of our student body.”

The nominator adds, “Katie coordinates and facilitates critical campus communications to resolve problems that impact the campus at large. Katie is indeed an unsung hero that would be extremely deserving of special recognition for her hard work and dedicated service to Sac State.”

Congratulations, Katie.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez