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October 19, 2011- Budget Message

October 19, 2011

Budget Message

The 2011-12 enacted state budget included a trigger for an additional $100 million reduction to the CSU if state revenue forecasts were not met.  The State Controller reported last week the total year-to-date general fund revenues are now behind the budget's estimates by $705.5 million.  We were hopeful the Governor and legislature would find alternatives to pulling the trigger on higher education, but we must plan in the likely event it occurs.   
 
If the $100 million reduction is triggered by the state, our share of the reduction is $2.5 million.  The vice presidents and I have identified solutions for addressing the mid-year general fund reduction that do not negatively impact divisional operations or instruction in the current year.  We will address the mid-year reduction with an all funds budgeting approach, using carry-forward funds from the previous fiscal year and excess fee revenues from exceeding our enrollment target and leveraging self-support revenues or other campus-based fees.
 
It is our assumption the reduction will be a one-time cut to the CSU.  The Board of Trustees will take action on a 2012-13 budget proposal request at their November meeting, thus beginning the annual budget cycle.  However, it is unlikely there will be any certainty about the 2012-13 budget for some time. We will hold conversations with the University Budget Committee about how we address the reduction if it is ongoing and when we have a clearer picture for the 2012-13 budget.  

The reductions we have already experienced severely hinder our ability to grow and to serve the region.  Careful and early financial planning positioned us well during the ongoing budget crisis, but we cannot take additional cuts without further impacting our academic mission and core services.  We must shift the focus away from reducing expenditures to leveraging all of our available resources and alternative revenue generation to protect the future of this institution.  Cal State San Marcos has focused on solutions that ensure our ability to serve our students and drive economic, social and cultural development in our region.  Those solutions have included leveraging self-support to expand access to our region and provide revenue back to the University and colleges, creating partnerships to provide resources for offering academic programs and implementing campus-based fees to augment student support services, to name a few.   
 
Cal State San Marcos will maintain our commitment to serving students, protecting jobs and building for the future by identifying innovative and entrepreneurial solutions, expanding partnerships and continuing prudent fiscal management.  Thank you for your dedication and commitment to this endeavor and to the future of Cal State San Marcos.