LONG BEACH — California State University Chancellor, Timothy P. White, aligned himself with the Gov. Jerry Brown’s higher education reform efforts while calling for larger increases in state funding.
With Gov. Jerry Brown in the audience, White stressed that the state must invest more in improving graduation rates and shortening the time it takes to get a degree, as well as increasing access for low-income students and upgrading aging infrastructure on its 23 campuses.
In his budget for fiscal year 2014-15, Gov. Brown proposed a $177-million general fund increase for CSU operating budget support. CSU trustees had asked for $237.6 million.
Gov Brown’s budget summary noted “that the 2013 Budget Act provided a $125.1 million
General Fund increase to both UC and CSU, and that the first installment of a four-year investment
plan to provide steady and predictable state funding increases through 2016-17. These
multi-year investments, however, are contingent on the segments holding tuition flat at
2011-12 levels through 2016-17: $12,192 for UC and $5,472 for CSU. The Brown Administration
expects the segments to use these funds to maintain affordability, decrease the time it takes students to complete a degree, increase the number of students who complete programs, and improve the transfer of community college students to four year colleges and universities.
White said he will push hard to have $50 million — which could be a combination of state support, student tuition, foundation and business contributions — go toward the seven key areas he outlined to improve student achievement.
Specifically, White’s goal is a 10 percent increase in graduation rates for all undergraduate students who start at CSU, and a 5 percent increase among community college transfers.
White linked the CSU’s ability to churn out a million more graduations by 2025 to a healthy economy in the future.
To accomplish that, “CSU will invest an additional $50 million in seven key areas designed directly to advance student achievement and high-quality degree completion,” he said.
Those areas include:
- increased tenure-track faculty hiring,
- electronic advising systems for students
- reducing course bottlenecks with more online course offerings and cross-campus enrollment programs