Daily 49er

The Cal State University system talks budget and graduation

A CSU live web conference confirmed that tuition will increase.

Selena Gonzalez, Staff Writer

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The Cal State University system held a live student media web conference Friday morning in order to give an update on several topics concerning the student body. The main topics discussed by the panelists were the CSU budget, student leadership and academics.

The panel of presenters featured Ryan Storm, CSU assistant vice chancellor for budget; Rob Shorette, California State Association executive director; James T. Minor, CSU senior strategist for Academic Success and Inclusive Excellence and Elizabeth Chapin, manager of public affairs and media contact.

Storm, who presented first, spoke about the budget specifically, and how it has improved since the great recession that lasted from Dec. 2007 thru Jun. 2009.

The support budget represents the CSU annual budget request approved by the Board of Trustees and forwarded to the to the Governor and Legislature for consideration in their state budget process. It is an important statement by the CSU Board of Trustees of what the CSU needs to fulfill its mission to the people of California.

At the moment, the support budget is $5.3 million.

Storm pointed out that during the recession, the state support went down by $1 billion. Since then, it has been restored by 65 percent.

“The support budget looks to improve 1-5 percent in the next year because if the state grows, the economy will grow,” he said.

The preliminary budget for 2017-18 is $346 million, while the anticipated revenue is $177.2 million. The revenue is the extra money the university will make from tuition, fees and other charges to students.

Minor spoke next and covered the graduation initiative 2025 put into effect by the advisors and presidents of all 23 CSU campuses.

In January of this year, Gov. Jerry Brown, who is pushing for quicker improvement in graduation rates, proposed a budget for the CSU. This proposal includes more money for the 23 campuses and keeps tuition at the same level it’s been the past five years.

The plan is ambitious, challenging, yet realistic and focuses on maintaining a high academic rigor, while opening more courses,” said Minor.

The plan seeks to give students more access to opportunities that would help them graduate faster, such as opening more classes in demand.  It also seeks to meet students where they are to help them graduate on time.

The plan features a four-year and six-year goal for freshmen and a two-year and four-year goal for transfers, which seeks to double the graduation rates of last year in 10 years. In 2015, the graduation rate for freshmen was 19 percent in four years and 5 percent in six years. For transfers it was, 31 percent in two years and 73 percent in four years.

“An overwhelming amount of freshmen take six years to graduate, while many more transfers take longer,” said Minor. However, Minor did say that the CSU system wasn’t completely pushing for the four-year plan for both freshmen and transfers.

“The graduation initiative seeks to undeniably establish the CSU system as the most successful system in the country,” Minor said.

Shorette presented last. He covered the independent and non-profit student associations across the CSU. These associations, which are funded by the state and federal government are run by students and hold monthly meetings.

After each presenter gave a brief discussion on their specific topics, Chapin headed a Q&A session. During the session the student journalists were able to ask questions directly to the presenters.

During the Q&A session, Storm confirmed that the rumors of a tuition increase are true, even though funding for the CSU system is increasing as well.

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