Under the leadership of Chancellor Timothy P. White and the Board of Trustees, the California State University has been diligent and fiscally responsible in its efforts to create reserves. We are, and will continue to be, careful and prudent stewards of our resources. Reserves are critical to our ability to continue providing access to higher education and successfully moving students toward graduation. The CSU and Sacramento State are steadfastly committed to transparency, and use a third-party auditor to review budgets and financial practices.
During and immediately following the Great Recession, Sacramento State had to furlough employees, cut classes, decrease enrollment, and institute a hiring freeze. Since then, we have intentionally committed our funding to make significant progress in hiring faculty, expanding class offerings and student enrollment, and improving our graduation rate. We have hired more than 200 tenure-track faculty, and we have increased enrollment to more than 31,000 students. Our four-year graduation rate has gone from 8 percent to a projected 20 percent in three years due to our strategic investments. Students are taking more classes than ever before, and we are seeing increased graduation rates across all demographics.
Of the $1.5 billion in reserves described in the audit, Sacramento State’s portion is $84 million. The majority of the funds have been used to pay for projects and initiatives such as the Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex, add classes, repair aging facilities, improve safety, expand academic advising, and provide services such as student health and counseling, or are restricted for specially designated activities (e.g., research and creative activities, the Center for California Studies, EdInsights). These funds cannot be used for ongoing expenses such as employee compensation, wage increases, or benefits.
We appreciate the State Auditor’s review of parking costs, and we are pleased that there were no recommendations for Sacramento State.
Students come first and always will. We remain committed to investing in their success.