SF State President Robert Corrigan and other CSU leaders meet with Governor to discuss support of public higher education

SAN FRANCISCO, May 24, 2011 -- San Francisco State University President Robert A. Corrigan, California State University Chancellor Charles Reed and other leaders of the California State University met with Gov. Jerry Brown today in the State Capitol to discuss state support of public higher education. 


"The Governor's willingness to meet with the CSU presidents, and hear from us first-hand about the impact of continued cuts to higher education, is a strong indication of his support for this vital driver of our state's economy," Corrigan said.  "He listened intently to our concerns about the potential erosion to quality and limits on the numbers of students served.  I believe our message—that California's future is tied to the knowledge and skills of its future workforce—came through loud and clear."


SF State is one of 23 campuses in the CSU system. The governor and legislature have already approved a budget that will reduce system funding by $500 million for the 2011-12 fiscal year.  In response to the cut, CSU will enroll fewer students this fall and apply a 10 percent tuition fee increase.  Campuses will reduce their budgets by an additional $281 million.


In his May revise, the governor warned that the CSU would face an additional $500 million cut if his proposed temporary tax extensions are rejected, bringing the total CSU reduction to $1 billion.  Under this plan, the CSU would turn away an estimated 20,000 qualified applicants in the winter/spring terms and authorize a tuition fee increase of up to 32 percent.


CSU leadership, alumni and community/business leaders visited the State Capitol today to meet with elected officials and advocate against budget cuts to the CSU.  With Corrigan's SF State delegation and at the meeting with Gov. Brown was Leona M. Bridges, an alumnus and member of the SF State Foundation Board of Directors.  "Any additional budget cuts to the CSU system will negatively impact the economic recovery of the state," said Bridges, a former Managing Director of Barclays Global Investors.  "The future of the Bay Area's economic development is based on our ability to prepare a highly educated workforce."


"We are at an historic point in the CSU system—and it could be a breaking point not just for campuses but for students and their families," Corrigan said.  "With an additional $500 million cut, state support for our campus would fall below 1994 levels, when we served 6,473 fewer students.” The master plan for higher education was designed to provide access and opportunity at no cost, Corrigan noted.  "This year, in another historic first, our students will pay more in tuition fees than the state contributes in support.  What was designed as a public good, an investment in the future of our state, has turned into a privately financed privilege."


Corrigan noted that SF State has created efficiencies and streamlined operations, with an emphasis on maintaining classes and student services. The campus now has a deferred maintenance backlog of more than $92 million, 110 tenure/tenure-track faculty positions have been reduced through attrition, and the academic program is being reorganized, reducing from eight colleges to six.


SF State is the only master's-level public university serving the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin. The University enrolls nearly 30,000 students each year and graduates about 8,000 annually. With nationally acclaimed programs in a range of fields -- from creative writing, cinema and biology to history, broadcast and electronic communication arts, theatre arts and ethnic studies -- the University’s more than 205,000 graduates have contributed to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond.