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BOT discusses $2.7 billion spending plan, increasing enrollment for next fiscal year

Crystal Niebla, News Editor

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The California State University Board of Trustees discussed the budget expenditure plan that will receive a $142.2 million increase from the California General Fund — totaling a budget of $2.7 billion in CSU state funding.

On Tuesday, the Board reviewed the 2014-15 proposed budget and how it will prioritize funding enrollment growth, employee compensation, student success and completion, critical facility maintenance and infrastructure repairs.

The budget fell $95 million short of what the Board of Trustees originally requested in November 2013.

According to the CSU website, this year the CSU received the largest number of applications ever for fall 2014 admission — about 284,000 students sent 760,000 applications — an increase of nearly 10 percent in two years. An increasing amount of students are applying to CSUs, yet current funding cannot support the massive amount of applicants.

“When we open our door, and we want to serve that student, and if it means that we have to close the door to keep another fully qualified student out, as tough as that is, that’s what we’re gonna do,” CSU Chancellor Timothy White said. “So that we can serve those that are coming here.”

CSULB receives the most applications of any CSU in the state and is second only to University of California, Los Angeles in applicants for public universities in California.

Across the CSU system, White said that about 103 percent students are relative to state funding. The budget expenditure plan will also allow an enrollment boost of approximately 9,900 more students across the CSU for 2014-15.

“We recognize that the schedules are off. And it’s crazy; it’s a crazy system — that we’re accepting applications in November, accepting them in March,” said vice chair of the Committee on Finance Steven M. Glazer. “We don’t even know if we have the money until the end of June.”

CSU employee salaries will also see an increase next fiscal year — a result of $91.6 million allocated from a 3 percent increase in the CSU employee compensation pool. Via the collective bargaining process, the Board will discuss how the employee compensation pool will be distributed.

Although all CSU employees saw a 1.34 percent salary increase in 2013-14 budget, White said that the employees “have not had any movement in their salary” since 2007-08. “So, the need was clear, and the need was profound,” he said.

White said that other public state employees from systems, such as community colleges and the University of California, have all had compensation reviews.

“We can’t be an outlier and continue to starve our employees at the extent of some other problematic initiative…” White said.

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