From the President: Governor's Budget Update

Dear campus community,

Like many of you, I was delighted by yesterday’s announcement by Governor Gavin Newsom. He and leaders from the state legislature announced a package of budget actions that included – among many items – restoration of previously-enacted reductions to the California State University budget, effective July 1, 2021. This is excellent news for the CSU and good news for SF State, and we are hopeful this planned action will make it to the final budget. I want to publicly acknowledge our gratitude not only to the governor and the legislature, but also to the people who continue to advocate effectively for our CSU students, faculty and staff, particularly the Chancellor’s Office, the Academic Senate of the CSU, the California State Student Association, and our unions. As I said in an earlier message this week, the “dividends of solidarity” are great.

The pandemic-related budget cuts came at a particularly vulnerable time for SF State as we faced a pre-pandemic University budget deficit in the fall of 2019, a decline in enrollment, and a gap between funding and expenses in some of our Cabinet areas. The cuts were devastating for many members of our campus community — particularly the individuals and families impacted directly by the painful layoff and MPP non-renewal process as well as declining opportunities for lecturers as a result of lower enrollment. And while the expected budget relief is welcome news, it will not entirely repair our current shortfall—we still face an enrollment-related reduction in tuition revenue that will remain with us at least for the next six years.

There is much that we don’t know about how the next year will unfold. We still need to address our own historical budget deficit and contend with highly volatile and declining enrollments. The restoration of the 2020-21 reduction in our state allocation is good news in that it provides us with the time and room to focus on aligning our spending with our resources in a way that allows us to use our resources to support current priorities, including retention and graduation, anti-racism and faculty excellence. There is still work to be done. We will continue to work with leaders from across the University and in consultation with the University Budget Committee.  The announcement by the governor and legislative leaders provides a welcome note of optimism and hope for better days ahead. 

Lynn's Signature

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.