President updates campus at Spring Address
At his Spring Address to campus Jan. 21, President Alexander Gonzalez updated the campus community on the state and University budgets and described the work being done to prepare for cuts in state funding.
“There appears to be a renewed focus on higher education in the State Capitol,” Gonzalez said after citing a $305 million restoration of one-time cuts in the governor’s proposed state budget. “I applaud our students, faculty, staff and supporters who have worked to help us send that message to our elected leaders.”
However, Gonzalez cautioned that “it’s still very early in the state budget process. Governor Schwarzenegger’s budget proposal is just that – a proposal.”
The President and the University Budget Advisory Committee (UBAC) are working to prepare the campus budget for whatever level of reduction occurs. UBAC’s members include faculty, staff, students and administrators, and the committee is charged with making budget recommendations to Gonzalez through increased transparency and campus participation.
“Along with all of you, I am hoping for positive budget news in the weeks and months to come,” Gonzalez says, adding that he hopes the campus situation will improve and never come to a worst-case scenario.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joseph Sheley and Vice President for Student Affairs Lori Varlotta spoke about Academic Affairs and enrollment management, respectively, after Gonzalez’ update.
Sheley said the key issue for serving students is how the University handles the challenges posed by reductions in state funding. He is working with the Faculty Senate to provide a list of academic priorities that will guide budget decisions in the coming year and beyond.
Varlotta highlighted the University’s successes in managing its enrollment levels, and explained how that has helped Sacramento State amid enrollment and budget cuts.
She said the University has meticulously hit its recent enrollment targets, which prevented additional losses in revenue from student fees.
All three speakers praised the work being done to serve students at Sacramento State.
“I think the appropriate response is to keep doing what you do because everything you do is really critical to our campus,” Gonzalez said. “That’s what keeps our University going.”
Gonzalez also invited the campus community to attend a Town Hall meeting on the budget at noon Feb. 9, in the University Union’s Hinde Auditorium. By then, more information should be available about the budget, and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions.
To view a video of the entire Spring Address, visit: www.csus.edu/news/NewsVideo/20100121_Convocation.html.