April 11, 2011
With just a few short weeks remaining in the academic year, I thought I would update you on some of the many activities that have been underway this academic year and particularly this semester.
Although there continues to be uncertainty with the state budget, there have been no new budget developments that have changed our planning assumptions since my last budget forum on January 27 (full remarks of forum). The legislature approved the $12 billion budget reductions of the Governor's proposal, which included the $500 million reduction to the CSU. There has not been any compromise on extending certain taxes expiring in June, which made up the remainder of the Governor's proposal to close the state budget gap. The Governor is now exploring options for a September ballot initiative. As I have said in my budget forums, while the budget reduction has significantly impacted our ability to grow and serve students, we have made prudent decisions, our UBC has been thoughtful in their deliberations and recommendations, and we have implemented plans that have allowed us to manage the crisis. I remain committed to, and our budget plan still includes, all of the activities and searches that are underway.
While spring is always a busy semester, this year has been particularly busy as we strive to serve our students and engage in a number of activities focused on building for the future. Whether it is a search committee, a new building project, the graduation initiative, implementation of the CSU common financial system, launching new programs, or bringing commencement back to campus, to name only a few ongoing activities, faculty, staff and administrators are devoting exceptional effort for the common goal of advancing this University.
In December, I held a roundtable on Diversity and Campus Climate with representatives on committees, task forces or University offices involved in diversity-related work and campus climate initiatives. We discussed the goals, and heard updates on the progress of a number of initiatives. The appointment of an AVP for Diversity and Educational Equity is a critical step to keeping us focused and moving forward on these important actions. I hope to be announcing this appointment by early May. The notes and actions from the roundtable discussion are also available on my blog.
The four searches for deans are underway with open campus forums beginning in the coming weeks. The searches for 31 faculty positions are also in progress. The implementation of our new college structure is proceeding with multiple actions and tasks associated with the transition. This semester we opened our new public safety building and played our first home game on our new baseball field. We are close to completion and move in for our largest academic building, Social and Behavioral Sciences and our University Student Union was approved by the Board of Trustees in March. Construction will begin in late May on the "Quad," an affiliated student housing project just across the street on Barham Road that will provide almost 600 beds and 8,000 square feet of retail space by fall 2013.
These activities do take significant effort but they are also exciting and transformative as we enter our next decade. Despite the challenges we face, you continue to place students first and to be innovative and future focused. Please accept my sincere thank you for your dedication to our students' success and to the mission and future of this University - your work does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.
For additional updates from President Haynes, see "From the Desk of Dr. Karen Haynes" at http://www.csusm.edu/president/blog/