A Letter to the Campus Community
As stated in my July 12th communique, California State University, East Bay faces significant financial uncertainties affecting students, faculty, and staff. As a result of prudent planning and budgeted contingencies, the University ended fiscal year 2011-12 with a surplus sufficient to maintain operating support at the current level through the 2012-13 fiscal year. However, due to the significant budget reductions in recent years, we are no longer able to provide the quality educational experience called for in our eight shared strategic commitments, and we will continue to face severe financial challenges in the coming years that will require us to prioritize activities and programs to ensure that we are spending our limited resources in support of our highest priorities.
I have asked Provost Houpis and the Chief Financial Officer Wells to implement a rigorous and deliberate review of both academic and administrative programs with a goal to identify savings of six million dollars beyond any further budget reduction that might be imposed this fiscal year resulting from failure to pass the governor’s tax initiative this November. This review will lead to the development of a plan to increase resources supporting our highest priority programs, maintain steady funding for programs that remain central to our mission and eight shared strategic commitments, and reduce funding for those programs that are determined to be less central to our mission and eight shared strategic commitments. To View the University Mission and Shared Strategic Commitments, click here.
I want to emphasize that this review process must identify resources that can be reallocated to increase support for some of our most critical and important activities and programs. Given that increased funding from the state is highly unlikely in the near future, we must look to our own resources for the flexibility required to advance our mission.
The prioritization process will depend upon broad participation of the entire campus community. Faculty, staff, and student representatives will be invited to participate in a structured series of meetings and discussions informed and supported by significant data and written information developed in consultation with those faculty (including committee chairs and officers of the Academic Senate) and staff most familiar with the programs and activities under review. The process is designed to ensure a complete and thorough review of all our programs and activities and provide an on-going framework for review and analysis beyond the 2012-13 fiscal year. While the time and effort required to engage in the prioritization process will be substantial, the outcome should provide direction for the University, within the financial constraints we face, to ensure that we continue to provide “academically rich, culturally relevant, learning experiences that prepare students to apply their education to meaningful lifework, and to be socially responsible contributors to society.”
The Provost and the CFO are working this summer to develop a plan for full involvement by the University community when the academic year commences in the fall. That plan will include formation of a steering committee, task groups, and a series of workshops to explain the process, followed by bi-weekly meetings during the fall and winter quarters to gather and analyze information regarding programs and activities, leading to recommendations by the beginning of spring quarter 2013. Any recommendations that affect academic programs or activities, which fall within the purview of the Academic Senate, will be considered by that body according to the Senate’s organizational practices and policies.
I appreciate your time and attention to this important endeavor and I look forward to reviewing the recommendations and implementing plans at the start of fiscal year 2013-14.
Leroy M. Morishita
July 30, 2012