President Mitchell responds to state budget, outlines further cuts

President Horace Mitchell
CSUB President, Dr. Horace Mitchell, outlined further cuts to the CSUB budget and staff reorganizations in a press conference on June 29, 2011.

Today, CSUB President Horace Mitchell held a press conference where he responded to the state budget agreement, and outlined potential cuts to sports programs and the reorganization of Athletics and University Advancement.

Yesterday, the state Legislature passed a budget that includes a $650 million cut to the California State University system – $150 million more than had already been approved – plus an additional $100 million “trigger cut” if expected state revenues do not materialize by the end of the year.

That translates to an additional $4 to $6 million cut to CSUB’s budget, over the $4 million already cut from the 2011-12 budget, Mitchell said.

The CSU Board of Trustees will meet in July to discuss increasing student fees to cover the additional cuts. Mitchell quoted CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed in response to the budget agreement.

“The budget is a great disappointment for the California State University,” he said. “If the trigger is pulled, our cut will total $750,000 million (about 30 percent state support to the CSU). State support for the CSU will be at its lowest level in 14 years, even though we currently serve 90,000 more students. California’s economy cannot fully recover, nor can its future promise be fulfilled, by starving its universities.”

Meanwhile, CSUB is moving forward with more cost saving measures, elaborating on the plan introduced at the June 1 Budget Forum. Today, President Mitchell announced these changes, which total about $240,000 in savings for 2011-12.

Athletics

  • Following the retirement of Senior Associate Director of Athletics Gloria Friedman, her position has been reduced from management to staff.
  • A management position in athletics advancement and development has been eliminated, with the staff member accepting a lower-paying position.
  • Athletics development staff, who previously reported jointly to Athletics and University Advancement, will report solely to Athletics Director Jeff Konya.

University Advancement

  • By mutual agreement, Beverly Byl will step down from her current position as Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director of the CSUB Foundation. Byl will assume a new position, restructured from a vacant foundation relations position, to include responsibilities for state and federal government relations and advocacy. Byl’s new title will be Executive Director of Government and Foundation Relations.
  • Development, alumni, event, and internal operations staff previously reporting to Byl will now report to Dr. Soraya Coley, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs with a specific focus on fund raising to support academic programs and student scholarships.
  • Public Affairs and Communications will report directly to the President.

As CSUB moves forward with budget planning, Mitchell maintained the three priorities outlined during the June 1 Budget Forum: preserving access to higher education, providing academic support to students, and facilitating graduation. In other words, there are no plans to reduce enrollment at this time.

“Our faculty and staff have worked enormously hard with K-12 and community colleges to increase college going rates in Kern County,” Mitchell said. “We don’t want to say to students, ‘Yes, you’ve done all we’ve asked you to do, but sorry there’s no room for you here.’”

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