The California State University Employee Update

Budget Prioritizes Student Access and Success, Staff Compensation
The CSU’s budget plan—focused on student access and success, faculty and staff compensation, and mandatory costs—was presented to the Board of Trustees this week as a proposal for how to align spending with the governor’s proposed budget.

Gov. Brown’s budget includes an additional $125.1 million for the CSU, $10 million of which is earmarked for technology to address “bottleneck” courses. The CSU’s plan prioritizes funding for its most pressing needs, including:

  • $21.7 million to address unprecedented enrollment demand, which will allow approximately 6,000 additional students to attend the CSU
  • $7.2 million for student access and success initiatives to reduce time to degree, close the achievement gap and improve graduation rates
  • $38 million for a modest compensation pool to recognize the work of faculty and staff
  • $48.2 million for mandatory costs, including increased CSU costs for employee health benefits, operation and maintenance of new space, and energy costs

This governor’s budget reverses the trend of dramatic declines that cut nearly $1 billion in annual state support from the CSU over the past five years.

The trustees also heard updates on the CSU’s Troops to College initiative, which offers opportunities to help veterans, active-duty service members and their families meet their educational goals, and the Center for Community Engagement’s 15-year milestone. National Teacher of the Year 2012 Rebecca Mieliwocki, an alumna of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and CSU Northridge, addressed the group, expressing her pride at being a CSU graduate and her belief in and commitment to California’s public education system. Read the agenda.

CSU Advocacy at Work
In their ongoing effort to promote the California State University’s crucial role in the state and in the nation, CSU leaders met with members of the California Congressional delegation at the university’s annual Hill Day in Washington, D.C. and with state lawmakers at Legislative Day in Sacramento earlier this month. The chancellor, campus presidents, trustees, alumni and other representatives spoke with elected officials about improving student aid, increasing college access, preparing students for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and workforce readiness. The CSU also hosted more than 200 alumni at its third annual NY/Tri-State alumni reception in New York City. In addition to remarks by Chancellor Timothy P. White, the CSU debuted its 2013 Working for California campaign in which seven outstanding alumni were highlighted.

Cal State Online Announces Financial Support
Cal State Online recently announced it will provide financial support to new and existing fully online self-support programs that commit to join Cal State Online during the 2013 calendar year and begin offering courses by December 2014.

The initiative, which brings together many of the online programs available through the CSU and provides student support services, launched in January with early interest from students and strong support from CSU leadership. CSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Benjamin Quillian said, “We believe that Cal State Online will grow quickly and we want to provide the financial support to encourage additional programs to join the initiative so we can meet the needs of our students with a robust set of degree program offerings.”

Cal State Online currently focuses on degree completion programs for re-entry students and veterans, but will soon add courses and degrees in high-demand subject areas. Financial support will be allocated on a first-come basis until all funds are committed, or through December 2014. The funding is limited to degree programs. Learn more or contact Ruth Claire Black.

Academic Senate Celebrates 50 Years
The Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) commemorated its 50th anniversary March 14 with an afternoon program at the Chancellor’s Office. Featured speakers reflected on the first decade of the ASCSU, its accomplishments and challenges across the years, and the future of shared governance. Attendees participated in discussion groups to envision the future of collegial governance. “We are celebrating the role of the Academic Senate in architecting the history and future of the CSU system in collaboration with all members of the CSU family,” said ASCSU Chair Dr. Diana Guerin.

According to its mission, the Academic Senate promotes academic excellence in the CSU, recommends policies to the Board of Trustees and the chancellor and is the primary consultative body on the academic implications of systemwide fiscal decisions.

CSU Students Excel at Service Learning
Nationally recognized as a leader in the field, the CSU’s Center for Community Engagement (CCE) celebrates 15 years of support for service learning this month.

Established in 1997, the CCE was a first-of-its-kind program in the country and now partners with close to 2,300 community organizations to enhance students’ academic experience through service to their communities. Nearly half of the CSU’s 437,000 students are engaged in community service, contributing 32 million hours of service annually to California communities—an annual economic impact of $697 million. Sixteen of the CSU’s 23 campuses were recognized in the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, which annually commends colleges and universities that achieve meaningful, measureable outcomes in the communities they serve. Two CSU campuses were honor roll finalists, three CSU campuses earned Honor Roll with Distinction, and 11 CSU campuses were honor roll recipients.