A message from California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White:
The governor has signed the 2014-15 state budget that includes an increase of $142.2 million in base funding for the CSU. The budget increase will enable the CSU to maintain existing programs and services. Moreover, tuition fees will remain stable for our students for the fourth consecutive year. The allocation will also enable us to begin to address a backlog of deferred maintenance projects.
This increase in our budget is welcome and reflects the tremendous grassroots advocacy work of the CSU family — students, faculty, staff, alumni, labor leaders and community supporters — who were in the trenches meeting with lawmakers about California’s need to reinvest in the CSU. As you are likely aware, the Trustees’ budget request was $95 million more than what was ultimately signed into law. I am grateful to all of you who advocated tirelessly on the CSU’s behalf. Your efforts resulted in more than 80 lawmakers committing to “Stand with the CSU” in the budget negotiations, which led to both houses recommending increases to the system’s funding allocation to match the Trustees’ request. While the final result fell short of our request, it does not diminish the power of our collective voice and our steadfast commitment to student success, nor does it diminish our resolve going forward.
The CSU continues to offer students an excellent education, but in this budgetary climate we will not be able to serve all of the eligible students who want to attend the university. Indeed, over the last two years, the CSU has experienced a 12 percent increase in applications and turned away more than 25,000 California students.
For California to succeed at the level we expect, its climate of innovation and economic growth must be fueled by an educated citizenry. The CSU is doing its part, graduating more than 100,000 students into the workforce annually, and we stand ready to do more. But we can only increase the number of graduates with the adequate, sustained funding needed to hire more faculty and staff to serve our students, to increase employee compensation in order to recruit and retain the best individuals, and to address facility and infrastructure needs.
Our story is compelling, and we must continue to come together and raise the profile of the CSU’s impact and importance to the state’s economy, businesses and industries, and social fabric. I seek your ongoing assistance sharing the CSU’s remarkable story. The vital work you do in the classroom and on campus helps our students become engaged and productive members of society.