From the 1960s through early 1990s, the CSU was largely funded by the State’s General Fund. This enabled the university to keep tuition fees at a very low amount because most of the system’s operating costs were covered by the state. In the 1990s, the state’s investment in the CSU began to lag behind the amount needed to fund enrollment growth, operating costs and capital improvements. Today, the system’s funding is a partnership between the state, students and their families. A CSU undergraduate education is still one of the most affordable in the nation.
From 2008-2012, the CSU lost $1 billion of state revenue. Due to budget constraints, the university has been forced to turn away 20,000 to 25,000 fully qualified students each academic term since 2008. The passage of Proposition 30 and Governor Jerry Brown’s multi-year funding plan has restored funding. However, the state’s contribution for academic year 2014-15 is equivalent to pre 2007-08 levels when the university served 50,000 fewer students. The current budget will enable the university to admit 9,900 additional students, sustain student success, pay mandatory costs, and provide a salary increase to employees.
Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León, center, stands with CSU presidents and representatives during CSU Budget Advocacy Day. (Sacramento State/Jessica Vernone) View more CSU Budget Advocacy Day photos here.
The Governor, Assembly and Senate have all recommended that the final budget act include more funding for the CSU. Governor Jerry Brown’s May Revision includes an additional $38 million. The Assembly-approved budget includes an additional $97 million, and the Senate-approved budget includes an additional $199 million. These recommended allocations would be in addition to the $119.5 million identified in the Governor’s multi-year funding plan. While no firm decisions have been rendered about the university’s final funding allocation for 2015-16, these initial signs are favorable and point to the likelihood of the CSU securing additional funding in the final budget act. Campus and system advocacy efforts are credited with generating this overwhelming recognition of the CSU’s funding needs by legislative leadership.
(January 13, 2015) On January 9, Governor Jerry Brown unveiled his 2015-16 budget proposal, which offers to increase the California State University’s General Fund allocation by $119.5 million, contingent upon tuition remaining flat. The proposal would also provide $25 million to address infrastructure needs and $25 million for innovation awards – partnerships or practices that promote completion of degrees within four years.
(November 13, 2014) On November 13, CSU Trustees voted to approve the university’s 2015-16 support budget request. The request from the Trustees is for a budget augmentation of $269 million (including $52.4 million that would come from tuition fee revenue if the system is provided funding to increase enrollment by three percent) and represents a credible statement of the university’s key funding needs. (more…)