by Jazzminn Morecraft
The CSU system has started to brace itself for a powerful economic hit due to the pandemic.
For months, individuals have had to deal with layoffs, furloughs and businesses closures due to the change in our economy, and the CSU system is no different. In a memo from Chancellor Timothy P. White, he stated, “Today, we face a base budget from the state for FY 2020-21 that has been permanently decreased by $299 million – compared to the last fiscal year – because of COVID-19-imposed impacts to the state’s economy.”
President Erika D. Beck sent out a Campus Global email sharing what this financial change would look like for CI specifically. “As a result of the cut to the CSU budget, our campus is expected to sustain a $5.1 million or 7.5% permanent reduction to our campus state appropriation,” she explained in the email.
However, this is not the only hit to the CI budget. There are two additional factors that will contribute to CI’s budget decrease. The next one is a drop in enrollment. “We are projecting an annual enrollment drop of just under 5% representing a tuition decrease of $1.9 million,” explained President Beck in her email.
The third factor that is expected to cut CI’s budget is revenue loss. “We are estimating a revenue loss for our campus auxiliary enterprises (housing, parking and dining) of $11.6 million,” further elaborated President Beck in her email.
This means that CI is expected to have an estimated budget loss of $18.6 million. However, CI has spent the last few years preparing for economic uncertainty, and paired with reserves, the shortfall should be made up for this academic year. “Thanks to this important work, and our collective efforts to minimize spending this spring, our campus will largely utilize our reserves to bridge this year’s budget shortfall along with cost-saving measures such as the chill in hiring and non-essential travel,” stated President Beck.
But, according to Chancellor White, the economic change will not only affect this academic year, but for at least the next three years. “All credible financial forecasts indicate that this pandemic will create, at a minimum, a three-year financial and operational challenge to the state and to the CSU,” explained Chancellor White in his memo.
This is part of the continuous conversation that CI is having. “We will need to work together this year to engage in extensive campus-wide and divisional dialogue to develop cost reduction scenarios that will address the permanent reduction to our state appropriation in fiscal year 21/22 and beyond,” explained President Beck in the email. “These conversations will begin with the return of the faculty in late August and, as always, will be guided by the health and safety of our academic community and our unwavering commitment to student success.”
The latest information about the CI budget can be found on the Strategic Resource Planning Committee website page on the CI website (https://www.csuci.edu/strategic-resource-planning/).