During the first in series of the town hall meetings Interim University President Willie Hagan, along with Mary Ann Rodriguez, vice president for administration and finance, shared an overview of the university’s fiscal operations with more than 200 faculty, staff and students in the Loker Student Union Ballroom, on Oct. 15.
Laying the groundwork for future town hall meetings, Hagan and Rodriquez said they plans to engage faculty, staff and students, such as through town halls, so they are a part of the budget decision-making process and that through strategic departmental assessments money can be shifted to maximize their use. While there simply aren’t enough funds to accomplish everything, Hagan stressed that, above all, decisions will be made with the university’s and its students’ best interest in mind.
In addition to the $2.7 million in state budgets cuts to the university for 2012-13, a $5.8 million reduction to CSU Dominguez Hills has been built into the budget should Proposition 30 fail in the upcoming election. But various triggers on the outcome of the election—either a five percent tuition increase effective January 2012, should it fail or a refund of the most recent nine percent tuition increase should the Proposition pass—would make the process challenging.
“We do have an approved budget, but depending on what happens with the initiative in November, it could change rapidly. So, the ability to plan is really, really difficult in this state,” Hagan said.
As of now, some funding is available to move forward with the hiring of faculty, which is one of Hagan’s strategic priorities to advance the university. It is expected that Ramon Torrechilha, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, will hire 19 new faculty members by next year.
There is also funds available for one-time allocation use, including potential areas such as deferred maintenance, information technology, technology equipment, hiring of temporary staff for critical areas, faculty sabbaticals and reassigned time, seed money to develop new academic programs and administrative programs, and library acquisitions.
Hagan noted along with seeking input from the campus community for a shared governance process, he is looking to experts in budget planning, and will use some of the guiding principles developed by Larry Goldstein, author of books on the topic such as “Essentials of College and University Budgeting.”
A second town hall in November will provide an update on the status of the budget based on the outcome of Proposition 30 on Nov. 6. If voters do not pass Prop 30, the CSU system will receive a $250 million mid-year “trigger cut.” For more information, the university has created a web page, Proposition 30 Information.
A copy of the first town hall’s presentation and other university budget information can be found at http://www.csudh.edu/admfin/bpa_budget_presentations.shtml.