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July 24, 2012 > California State University considers budget alternatives

California State University considers budget alternatives

Submitted By Stephanie Thara, CSU

With the state budget for 2012-13 now signed, the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees discussed budget options for the system at its regularly scheduled board meeting on July 17. The final budget relies on the successful passage of the Governor's tax measure in November. University officials laid out the difficult budget choices if voters don't approve the measure and the CSU faces an additional $250 million mid-year "trigger" cut. Options included strategies to reduce payroll costs, a "triggered" mid-year tuition fee increase, enrollment reductions, and other ideas will all be part of the contingencies being considered.

Facing a nearly $16 billion deficit, the state budget adopted by the legislature and the Governor keeps the CSU's budget essentially flat. However, should the Governor's tax measure fail, the CSU will face an additional $250 million mid-year "trigger" cut. In that event, the system will have lost almost $1.2 billion or 39 percent of its state support since 2007-08.

Although the campuses and the Chancellor's Office have implemented numerous cost reduction actions - including furloughs and a workforce reduction of more than 3,000 employees - a large portion of the funding gap has been covered by one-time resources and deferrals.

Staff will present two alternative strategies to address a potential $250 million mid-year "trigger" cut with both options sharing components including reducing salaries or increasing employees' share of benefit costs; reducing faculty assigned time and sabbaticals; charging for excess units, and the use of continuing education funds and other one-time resources. One option preserves access by not cutting enrollment while the other relies on larger payroll reductions by maintaining tuition fee levels.

The board isn't expected to make final decisions on a contingency budget plan until it meets in September.


For more information, visit www.calstate.edu

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