From the Desk of the President Archive - January 2011

President GonzalezMonday, Jan. 31, 2011

I was at the California State University Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach last week and want to update everyone on the latest developments.

The board heard a report on Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget for the California State University, including a $500 million reduction – or 18 percent – in state support. If enacted as is, state funding for the CSU would fall to $2.29 billion, the lowest level since the 1999-2000 fiscal year.

The report reiterated that this number remains an “if” because this level of funding depends on a number of factors, including tax extensions to be voted on in a statewide special election. At this point, the CSU cannot rule out any options as the work continues to address these potentially deep cuts.

Earlier this month, in what will likely be one of many discussions with state leaders, Chancellor Charles B. Reed and other CSU officials spoke before the State Assembly Committee on Higher Education. One of the topics was our efficiency as an institution of higher learning.

CSU efforts such as the graduation initiative, Early Start and simplifying transfers under SB 1440 are part of the system’s overall effort to ensure student success and help them earn their degrees. I and many others will be highlighting our ability to be efficient and effective in the coming weeks and months as state budget negotiations continue. However, we also must share our message that deeper and deeper cuts in state support are a direct threat to educational quality.

The board also voted that Sacramento State can move forward with planning a Doctor of Physical Therapy program. This is vital to both our University and the Sacramento region, because beginning in 2015, the National Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education will only grant accreditation to programs awarding doctorates.

I will continue to provide updates on the latest news, and  budget information will be available from Public Affairs at www.csus.edu/pa/budget. I also invite you to check my web page for additional updates at:  www.csus.edu/president/fromthedeskofthepresident.html.

Thank you for your work on behalf of our students.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011

As I mentioned in a previous President's Update, the California State University has changed how it characterizes the "fees," or charges assessed to students across the system. The new term adopted by the CSU is "tuition fees." This change was made to be  more accurate in describing student costs, as well as to reduce confusion and become more consistent with colleges and universities nationwide.

The full memo from the Chancellor's Office regarding this change is available on Public Affairs' Budget Central website at www.csus.edu/pa/budget.

The direct link is: www.csus.edu/sacstatenews/budgetcentral/documents/studentfee-1-14-11.pdf.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011

I am pleased to announce that Lynn Maynard is January's Employee of the Month.

 

Lynn is a System Unit Coordinator in Financial Aid. Her nominator described her as "being responsive to issues that generate daily in the complex administration of the state, federal, andinstitutional financial aid and scholarship programs." The nominator adds, "Lynn understands that delays in giving service to students impacts theirdesire and financial ability to attend Sac State, and her work assists the overall enrollment management goals of the University.  Lynn is a big reason for the successful administration of financial aid at Sac State."

You can meet previous Employees of the Month here: www.csus.edu/President/Awards/Employee-Recognition.html.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011

Gov. Jerry Brown released his budget this week, and he is proposing deep cuts to the California State University system as part of his plan to close a massive state budget deficit.

The proposal would reduce state support to the CSU by $500 million, or 18 percent, for the 2011-12 fiscal year. This $500 million reduction is being viewed as a "best case" scenario, in which the governor’s proposed tax extensions are approved by voters in a special election. If the tax extensions are rejected, the CSU may face additional reductions. 

This budget plan would drop the CSU’s level of state support to the same level it received more than a decade ago, yet we are now serving nearly 70,000 more students.

As always at this time of year, I want to caution everyone that the governor’s budget remains a proposal, and there will be many negotiations at the State Capitol in the coming months before the final budget is enacted.

It is also too early to determine specifically how this will affect our campus, or our enrollment. At the system level, Chancellor Charles B. Reed says, "We will need to look at every option and develop a comprehensive plan to address a reduction of this magnitude. There will be difficult choices as we move forward, and no single solution will be enough to meet this challenge."

At this time, there is no indication that we will face a mid-year budget reduction like we did in the last fiscal year. Additionally, our prudent planning over the last few difficult years has left us in relatively better shape to weather the next round of cuts:
• We didn’t commit the current year’s budget restoration to permanent spending – so future cuts won’t be as large.
• We have managed our enrollment effectively so we are not “too big” or “too small.”
• We kept many positions vacant, and moved others to non-state-funded sources.
• We have a committed group of experienced individuals from across the campus who serve on the University Budget Advisory Committee.

This year again is shaping up to be very challenging for all of us. I will continue to work with UBAC as more details emerge about the state budget. And I will keep you informed as to any new developments.

Thank you for your continued dedication and hard work.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011

Welcome back to campus and the start of another semester. I hope everyone had an enjoyable break.The first weeks of 2011 are shaping up to be very busy for our campus.

On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown will unveil his new state budget. He has previously warned everyone, including those of us in higher education, to fasten our seat belts as he seeks to close a state budget deficit that exceeds $20 billion. I hope to have more details at my Spring Address, which is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20 in the University Union Ballroom. The event will begin with coffee at 9 a.m., followed by the talk at 10 a.m.

As for enrollment, our commitment to prudent planning and management amid the ever-shifting budget landscape has left us in a relatively sound position. The increasing enrollment targets we received were a major challenge, but nevertheless, we expect to welcome about 3,000 new students to our University this spring. This should put us well above the original goal that was established before all the changes that came to us during the previous semester – and it will give these new students the opportunity to pursue their college degrees.

I will continue to provide updates about the budget in the coming weeks, and as always, information will be available from Public Affairs at www.csus.edu/pa/budget.

As part of my commitment to share as much information as possible, I also will be providing campus updates on my web page at www.csus.edu/president/fromthedeskofthepresident.html. We created this feature to share more information from my office, while remaining mindful that many of us already receive too much email. These President’s Updates will continue, however, for the most timely and appropriate news.

Last month, we celebrated the graduation of nearly 4,100 Sacramento State students at Winter Commencement. Please join me in congratulating their achievements and enjoy these scenes from the two days of ceremonies, www.csus.edu/pa/video/20101217_Commencement.html.

Perhaps more than any other event at Sacramento State, Commencement reflects the excellent work all of you have done to enhance higher education at our University. Thank you for your continuing efforts and welcome back.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
 


Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011

All faculty, staff and students are invited to my annual spring address to the campus community Thursday, Jan. 20, in the University Union Ballroom. The event will begin with coffee at 9 a.m., followed by the talk at 10 a.m. Topics will include the University budget and the next steps for Sacramento State now that Destination 2010 has ended. Hope to see everyone there.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011

Our Athletics Department is offering free admission to men's basketball games in January to all Hornet faculty and staff. Every faculty or staff member, along with their family members, will be admitted free to any of the five Hornet men's basketball games listed below. Additionally, Target gift cards will be awarded to multiple Sacramento State employees during each game. All home basketball games take place in the Hornets Nest gym in Yosemite Hall.

Thursday, Jan. 6 vs. Montana State, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 8 vs. Montana, 7 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 20 vs. Northern Colorado, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 22 vs. Eastern Washington, 7 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 27 vs. Idaho State, 7 p.m.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez