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CSU mulls another tuition increase

Gov.+Jerry+Brown+discusses+a+budget+proposal+in+2012.+%28Lezlie+Sterling%2FSacramento+Bee%2FMCT%29
Gov. Jerry Brown discusses a budget proposal in 2012. (Lezlie Sterling/Sacramento Bee/MCT)

Gov. Jerry Brown discusses a budget proposal in 2012. (Lezlie Sterling/Sacramento Bee/MCT)

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MCT

Gov. Jerry Brown discusses a budget proposal in 2012. (Lezlie Sterling/Sacramento Bee/MCT)

by Bella Ross, Staff Writer

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The California State University Board of Trustees is considering a tuition increase for the second year in a row, citing a lower-than-expected budget proposal from Gov. Jerry Brown’s office last month.

In January, the governor released a budget proposal allocating $92 million to the CSU system for fiscal year 2019.

That may not be the final number, as the state budget won’t be voted on until June. But it’s not a good starting point, administrators say.

“We expected $102 million,” said San Diego State Director of Budget and Finance Crystal Little.

And even that number was far lower than the $282 million the CSU initially requested.

Little said the amount the state is offering to the CSU system will not even be enough to cover fixed costs, like negotiated salary increases, or Graduation Initiative 2025, which is the CSU’s goal to increase four- and six-year graduation rates across all campuses.

“It seems like every few years we get into a similar situation,” said Agnes Wong Nickerson, SDSU associate vice president of financial operations. “It’s not sustainable. We don’t like it if we have to balance the budget by increasing tuition.”

Nickerson said, since 2007, the budget for the CSU system has stayed roughly the same and actually decreased slightly despite significant increases in enrollment.

According to the CSU Institutional Research and Analyses website, enrollment increased to 484,297 students in fall 2017 from 433,017 students in 2007.

Little said because of the budgeting issues, the CSU Board of Trustees may ultimately vote for a tuition increase of an undetermined amount in May.

However, the increase would likely not meet the CSU system’s entire need, which will likely result in a prioritization of resources.

SDSU’s 2017-18 budget totaled $894.2 million. This number is largely made up by the operating budget, which is 46.6 percent of the budget at $415.8 million made up from the state appropriation, tuition and fees, the student success fee and cost recovery.

“Being a service-oriented organization, personnel costs is our biggest expense,” Little said. “It’s upwards of 70 percent of our operational budget that is the salary and benefit costs for our employees.”

The CSU system is unionized, meaning yearly salary increases have been agreed upon ahead of time between bargaining unions and the CSU system to ensure fair pay and an ideal working environment.

However, these salary increases could be in trouble as the current proposed state appropriation does not provide enough funding to cover these mandatory costs.

“In fiscal year 2018-19 and in 2019-20, the average salary increase will be about three percent each year because we know based on these agreements that that’s what they’ve agreed upon,” Nickerson said.

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1 Comment

One Response to “CSU mulls another tuition increase”

  1. Skye Knight Dent on February 28th, 2018 9:17 pm

    Maybe students would not have to pay as much if the CSU system were not making money by allowing their professors to force students to buy books by pretending they are published textbooks. CSUB not pnly ignored a student who brought in 81 pages of evidence that a dept chair had scammed hundreds of students over a three year period by requiring them to buy a book printed by his colleague at Grossmont Community College. CSUB labeled her as an angry black woman, erased her grades from the system, threatened her and kicked her out. Only when KBAK Investigative Reporter Kyle Harvey did an investigative report on air did the CSU trustees strip the book from the bookshelves. The professor still teaches there. And the professor running the printing company is still marketing books at 71 other institutions across the country. CSUB owes $60,000 plus to the students. That would help a little. Here are the KBAK links. https://vimeo.com/240209135 https://vimeo.com/241013880 and

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