CSUEB Budget Principles Are Strategic, Aim at Protecting Quality, Reducing Costs
- December 1, 2008
To: The Campus Community
From: President Mo Qayoumi
Re: Meeting Budget Challenges
Last week, the California State University Board of Trustees declared the CSU system "impacted," meaning it will not be able to accept some eligible students as it continues to cope with huge budget cuts. This is one of the more drastic actions the CSU must take during this crisis, and each of the 23 campuses is being forced to make additional painful choices with their budgets.
Acknowledging the close relationship between enrollment and budget, Cal State East Bay is addressing these issues together. One of the goals is to sustain our student enrollment while holding off on new initiatives. Our enrollment of 14,000 students has increased to slightly above the target level set for us by the CSU. During this period of increase we have spent more than our new base operational budget by using some one-time funds to cover expenses. At this point, we must now manage our operations with the funds we've been allocated. This presents us with the challenge of applying strategic principles for budgeting while protecting quality and reducing costs.
The University is taking a strategic multiyear approach to reviewing its budget and will make decisions based on the priorities developed in our seven mandates, the Academic Plan, the Strategic Planning Summary and Priorities for Implementation, and the newly-proposed Hayward campus master plan. Some of the most important decisions in this process will be made by the President's Cabinet, the college deans, and the associate vice presidents in consultation with the University Planning, Assessment and Budget Committee. They are looking at both one-time opportunities for savings as well as budget principles we can apply over the long term, avoiding "across the board" actions in order to protect strategic priorities such as enrollment gains, cost reductions, and maintaining quality.
The vice presidents, deans, and associate vice presidents are already exploring a number of possibilities for meeting this fiscal challenge. They include:
- looking for ways to streamline the admissions process;
- establishing minimum class sizes;
- extending the length of time before computers are replaced;
- consolidating functions with the goal of reducing the need for management and administrative support positions; and
- substituting self-service operations for in-person administrative services, such as enhancing online services.
The University Planning, Assessment and Budget Committee is comprised of faculty, staff, students, and administrators. Its next meeting is at 9 a.m. on Dec. 12 in the President's Conference Room in Warren Hall. If you have ideas you would like the committee to consider, I invite you to send them to Don Sawyer, chief of staff to the president, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I continue to count on the University community to come up with creative solutions to the fiscal challenges that face us. At the same time, I encourage you to spread the message of the importance of higher education - and Cal State East Bay, in particular - to our state and the region.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to this great University.