The 2018-2019 state budget proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this month includes an unimpressive amount of funding allotted for the California State University system has Stanislaus State scrambling to make budget adjustments.
Stanislaus State President Ellen Junn announced at her Spring Welcome Address on Tuesday that insufficient state funding as proposed by the Governor’s budget will impact the school’s ability to provide quality education and support services for students already enrolled to attend the university this fall, leading the campus to close enrollment for the Spring 2019 semester.
“Unfortunately, state budget projections are not as rosy as we had hoped for,” said Junn.
The Governor has proposed augmenting General Fund spending for both the CSU and University of California systems by $92 million each, which represents an increase of about 3 percent each — slightly lower that the 4 to 5 percent base increases provided for the systems in recent years.
In addition to the less-than-anticipated funds, Gov. Brown also indicated he does not want either university system to increase tuition charges for resident students in 2018-2019, even though both the CSU Trustees and UC Regents are currently working to implement such increases.
This past November, CSU Trustees approved a budget requesting an increase of $282.9 million from the state to fund priorities including the university-wide Graduation Initiative 2025, compensation, enrollment growth, facilities and infrastructure needs, among other mandatory costs.
“The 2018-2019 budget proposal from the governor's office is both concerning and surprising. By nearly any measure, the CSU is fulfilling its mission better than ever before. Yet the proposed level of funding, as a percent of our operating budget, provides an increase to our operating budget that is half the rate of inflation. Directives and constraints within the proposal further limit our ability to address critical university needs,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy White. “This budget proposal could reverse any progress made in the last decade – diminishing student access, success, limiting degree attainment and depriving California's industries of skilled professionals.”
The impacts of the proposed state budget would be threefold for Stanislaus State, said Senior Associate Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs Rosalee Rush.
“Without adequate funding, the expansion and development of quality programs stand to be curtailed; expansion and some maintenance of facilities could be halted and the ability of students to graduate in a timely manner could be negatively impacted as funding for additional sections of in-demand courses is cut,” said Rush.
The decision to close enrollment for Spring 2019 was made to ensure that the university is still able to provide those benefits for students, she added. The enrollment hold will not affect transfers of students holding associate degrees, nor will it impact enrollment in credential or graduate programs.
If the Governor’s May Revision shows improvement for CSU funding, the decision to close spring enrollment may be reviewed and amended, Rush said.