Spring 2014 Begins

Ask me anything sign

Have a question? Look for “Ask Me” stations on campus where volunteer faculty, staff and students will help you (Christina Olivas photo).

Blue skies and “Ask Me” volunteers greeted the thousands of Spartans who returned to San Jose State today for the start of spring term 2014. A special welcome goes out to more than 540 new transfer students and 640 new graduate students, joining approximately 30,000 existing students. More new Spartans are on the way. SJSU received 28,900 first-time frosh and 15,000 transfer applications for fall 2014. Don’t panic about the traffic! The admissions process typically yields around 7,000 new students each fall, replacing those who will graduate. Still, now is a great time to check out Transportation Solutions. Get your EcoPass and sign up for Bay Area Bike Share. On campus, you’ll see tons of construction underway. The good news is the Student Union west wing is nearly done. You’ll find the Spartan Bookstore there in temporary digs soon and, before long, all kinds of new eats at Union Square.

(Christina Olivas photo)

Students search for textbooks in the bookstore (Christina Olivas photo).

Speaking of books, it’s time to get to work. A huge shout out goes to the more than 12,000 students who have devoted 197,000 service learning hours over the past eight years to CommUniverCity San Jose. Recently honored as San Jose’s greatest civic gift, CommUniverCity helps students gain real-life experience addressing neighborhood issues near campus. In Long Beach, California State University Chancellor Tim White is preparing to deliver the first State of the CSU Address, which will be live streamed 11 a.m. Jan. 29. The chancellor will share his vision for the 23-campus system, including top policy priorities for 2014-15 to advance student achievement and degree completion. What about tuition? The governor’s proposed budget calls for no tuition increases while stabilizing state funding for the CSU. That means extra change in your pocket. You’ll find lots going on at the Event Center. Coming soon are Spartan men’s basketball Jan. 29 (free admission for students with ID) and Winter White featuring Steve Aoki Jan. 30. Of course spring term’s biggest events come at the very end: Honors Convocation April 25 and Commencement May 24. Good luck, Spartans!

San Jose Mercury News: College Students Choosing Majors Now Have Starting Salaries at Hand

Posted Oct. 22, 2013 by the San Jose Mercury News.

By Katy Murphy

With just a few clicks, American college students can see that on average fine artists earn $29,000 straight out of school while electrical engineers who spent their days hunkered over circuit boards start at $57,000 and are less likely to be out of work.

A tough job market and growing student-loan debt have inspired keen interest in whether graduates are finding jobs and how much they make. Now, using new U.S. Census information, economists are attaching hard numbers to the career prospects and earnings potential of college majors.

“The earnings differences among these different fields of study are very wide, so what you take matters a lot,” said Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce …

San Jose State senior Krysta Shaw is one of several students who started with a highly marketable major before changing to one that made her happy — musical theater. “I started school as a math major, and I was like, ‘I hate my life. I cry all the time. How could this possibly be worth it?'”

Read the full story. 

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Budget News: Holding the Line on Tuition Increases

Governor Vows to Hold the Line on Tuition Hikes

It’s too early to tell exactly how this will impact SJSU but “the funding proposed…is a critical investment in the future of California,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White.

Governor Jerry Brown’s latest budget proposal calls for more state government spending on the CSU each year through 2016-2017. Brown also calls for a four-year tuition freeze (view current SJSU tuition and fees).

The governor’s “May Revision” (an updated version of the 2013-2014 state budget presented back in January) proposes $125 million more in funding for the California State University system compared to last year plus the reinstatement of $125 million in cuts.

It’s too early to tell exactly how this will impact SJSU but “the funding proposed for public higher education…is a critical investment in the future of California,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White.

The proposal also states that the governor will work with the UCs, CSUs, community colleges and legislature on a framework that would link state spending to performance, such as improving graduation rates.

Overall, the proposed budget would bring CSU state funding to $2.3 billion, approximately the same as 1999-2000, although the system now serves 75,000 more students.

Next up, the CSU Board of Trustees meeting will meet May 21 and 22 to discuss the revised budget proposal. Meanwhile, the state legislature will take up the overall state package, with the expectation it will pass in June. The fiscal year begins July 1. View the SJSU Budget Central website.

Governor Vows to Hold the Line on Tuition Hikes

CSU Prioritizes Student Access and Success in Balanced Budget Plan

CSU Prioritizes Student Access and Success in Balanced Budget Plan

The passage of Proposition 30 will translate to relative stability for the next four years, with the governor budgeting an additional $125 million for the system in the coming fiscal year.

The California State University Board of Trustees met March 19 in Long Beach to discuss the 2013-2014 budget. “After struggling through one of the toughest times in CSU history, the system is now in a position to address some of its critical needs,” said Robert Turnage, assistant vice chancellor for budget. “Putting students first, the CSU’s budget plan strikes a balance among the many legitimate claims for available resources.” So the passage of Proposition 30 will translate to relative stability for the next four years, with the governor budgeting an additional $125 million for the system in the coming fiscal year. The board discussed using the increase to grow enrollment, develop online strategies for bottleneck classes (SJSU is well on it way with its Udacity and edX pilot programs), adjust faculty and staff wages for the first time since the recession began, and cover mandatory cost increases for employee health benefits and energy. We’re still waiting to learn exactly how this will affect SJSU. But meanwhile we do know this very good news for students: The Board of Trustees is committed to holding the line on tuition increases in 2013-2014. View current SJSU tuition and fees. Up next? The governor issues his annual “May Revise,” which is an updated version of the budget proposal released in January, taking into consideration the latest state revenue figures. Then the legislature is expected to approve the budget by June 15. The new fiscal year begins July 1. We’ve got a ways to go, so tay tuned! Read a related CSU news release.

Governor Vows to Hold the Line on Tuition Hikes

Governor Proposes $125.1 Million Budget Investment for CSU

Governor Proposes $125.1 Million Budget Investment for CSU

Consistent with the governor’s plan to make higher education more affordable, the budget assumes that the university will not increase tuition and fees in 2013-14.

Governor Brown has released a 2013-2014 state budget proposal that signals a renewed investment in higher education with the addition of $125.1 million in state funding for the California State University. The Governor’s budget also reinstates $125 million that was cut from last year’s budget and was due to be reimbursed in this year’s budget following the successful passage of Proposition 30.

“We appreciate the Governor’s recognition that California will benefit from the investment of state funds into higher education,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “The proposed budget heads us in the right direction,” continued White. “It will allow the CSU to address the unprecedented demand for high quality education at our institutions, as well as areas of critical need. We still face many fiscal challenges and will continue efforts to operate efficiently and effectively, and seek out additional innovative ways to control costs.”

Overall, the increase in state support for the CSU brings state funding levels to $2.2 billion for the support of university programs and operations. As part of its 2013-2014 budget ask of the governor and legislature, CSU had requested a total of $371.9 million over its current baseline budget that includes state funds, tuition and systemwide fees. Consistent with the governor’s plan to make higher education more affordable, the budget assumes that the university will not increase tuition and fees in 2013-14.

View current SJSU tuition and fees.

Read more about the governor’s proposal for the CSU.

Read more about the CSU’s request.

 

Budget Forum Focuses on Proposition 30

Dr. Mohammad Qayoumi

Dr. Mohammad Qayoumi

President Mohammad Qayoumi thanked students who took an active role in the 2012 elections and explained how the passage of Proposition 30 will benefit SJSU at a campuswide budget forum Nov. 27.

“Kudos to students who took the election to heart,” Qayoumi said. “This is tremendously important. Leadership is something that needs to be recognized.”

Qayoumi opened the event, which you can view on the SJSU Budget Central website, by providing a quick overview of the California State University 2013-14 budget request.

The CSU will ask the governor and legislature for $371.9 million over its current baseline budget to fund enrollment growth, compensation increases and facilities maintenance.

Yet Qayoumi remains cautious. The passage of Proposition 30 stabilizes the state budget and means the CSU will avoid a $250 million trigger cut while rolling tuition to 2011-12 levels. View current SJSU tuition and fees.

Taking these two factors into consideration, SJSU will net $5.5 million. This will alleviate SJSU’s structural deficit, but SJSU continues to face a $27 million gap.

Cautious Optimism

So while SJSU expects to hire 22 tenure track faculty members this year and honor the expected minimum wage increase in San Jose, the campus will continue to look for ways to reduce expenses, increase revenue and improve efficiencies.

In a question and answer session following the presentation, a faculty member sought to compare the percentage of the budget spent on faculty affairs and student affairs.

SJSU’s 2012-13 budget report (page 9) shows faculty affairs receives 53 percent of the budget, while Student Affairs receives 5.7 percent of the budget. Another big slice–nearly 25 percent–covers university-wide expenses, with the majority going to student financial aid and utilities.

A student raised concerns about buildings that are too hot during the summer, and too cold during the winter.

SJSU must compete with the 22 other CSU campuses for facilities funding, and is at a disadvantage given 75 percent of San Jose State’s structures are more than 40 years old.

However, the president explained, SJSU is developing a facilities master plan in preparation for the state’s next general obligation bond, which is expected in the next few years as the economy recovers.

Next Forum

President Qayoumi plans to host the another budget forum in late February, after the CSU reviews Governor Brown’s proposed 2013-14 state budget, which will be released in early January.

The governor will revise his proposal in May, taking into consideration updated tax revenue projections. The legislature is expected to act on the proposal before the start of the next fiscal year July 1, 2013.

Spartans Impact 2012 Elections

SJSU's Impact on the 2012 Elections

Olympian John Carlos appeared with Measure D supporters at Legacy Week (photo courtesy of Scott Myers-Lipton).

San Jose State had a profound effect on the 2012 Elections, and vice versa.

An SJSU student started the movement that became Measure D, which will raise the minimum wage in San Jose to $10 per hour.

Marisela Castro won the support of her sociology professor, her classmates and voters, raising the potential of spawning a national movement.

Assistant Professor Melinda Jackson and Professor Larry Gerston took to the airwaves election night, serving as political commentators on KGO and NBC, respectively.

But it was the eight-year-old son of two other faculty members who stole the show. Ethan Percival correctly predicted the electoral college breakdown, winning a politics department contest.

Talk about starting young. Among the professors he beat were his parents, Assistant Professor Garrick Percival and Lecturer Mary Currin-Percival.

Jim Beall, Paul Fong, Barbara Spector, Larry Carr, Debbie Giordano and Rod Diridon, Jr. were among the many Spartans who won local elections. Know of more? Please contact us!

Proposition 30

Voters clearly voiced their support for public higher education by passing Proposition 30, which will stabilize state funding for SJSU in the short term.

President Mohammad Qayoumi will host a post-election budget forum 9 a.m. Nov. 27 in the Student Union Loma Prieta room.  The event will be streamed live online on the SJSU Budget Central website.

Students were of course thrilled to learn tuition would be rolled back to 2011-2012 levels, effective fall of this year. View current SJSU tuition and fees.

Some but not all students will receive refunds. If you’re a student, MySJSU is your first and best source of information.

New Fees?

One week after the elections, CSU Board of Trustees backed off plans to discuss fee increases for three specific groups of students: those who have earned more than 150 credits, those taking 18 or more credits, and those repeating courses.

Administrators want existing students to graduate, opening seats for new students. But trustees need time to “gather additional information and input from stakeholders,” according to a CSU news release.

Around 385 SJSU students with more than 150 credits and 150 students enrolled in 18 or more credits would have been affected if the fees had been implemented this term. Academic advising is available to all.

SJSU campus sign

SJSU Open for Fall 2013 Admissions

SJSU campus sign

On Oct. 1, all 23 CSU campuses including SJSU will begin accepting applications from new students for admission to the fall 2013 term.

San Jose State will continue accepting applications through November 30 from new undergraduates who would like to attend SJSU beginning in fall 2013 term.

New students should visit www.csumentor.edu to complete an application. Future Spartans can also download SJSU’s beautiful Fall 2013 Guide to Admission brochure.

The next step after applying is completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Nearly half of Cal State undergraduates receive enough in financial aid to cover the full cost of their tuition.

CSU tuition remains among the lowest in the nation. View current SJSU tuition and campus fees.

 

Governor Vows to Hold the Line on Tuition Hikes

Cal State Trustees Adopt Budget Contingency Plans

CSU logo

Governor’s May Revision Avoids Direct Cuts to CSU

System Prepares Scenarios Dependent on Governor’s Tax Measure

Contacts: Claudia Keith or Mike Uhlenkamp, (562) 951-4800

The California State University Board of Trustees  adopted on Sept. 19 budget contingency measures based on the outcome of Proposition 30 on the November 6 ballot.  The board voted 11 to 3 to raise tuition fees by $150 a semester or 5 percent if the Governor’s tax initiative fails and a $250 million “trigger” budget cut to the CSU goes into effect. Alternatively, the board also voted to roll back the 9.1 percent tuition fee increase already in effect for fall if voters approve the tax measure. Faculty trustee Bernadette Cheyne, student trustee Jillian Ruddell and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson voted against the resolutions.

“It is clear that we cannot simply cut our way out of another $250 million hit to our budget,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed.  “We need to take a balanced approach in terms of cost reductions and revenue enhancements. That is reflected in the contingency plans approved by the board.”

View the CSU Budget Central website, the SJSU Budget Central website, or current SJSU tuition and campus fees.

Read the full news release.

Why SJSU is Cutting 500 Sections

Why SJSU is Accepting Non-Resident Graduate Students in Spring 2013

Why SJSU is Accepting Non-Resident Graduate Students in Spring 2013

On Aug. 16, as a guest on KQED’s news talk show “Forum,” President Qayoumi explained that millions of dollars in state budget cuts for public higher education means SJSU lacks the funding to admit all California residents who would like to attend.

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

In the past, this time of year was when SJSU accepted applications for spring admissions, mostly from community college transfer students, but also from graduate students entering programs accepting newcomers in the middle of the academic year. Beginning in 2009, when SJSU was hit by severe budget cuts, spring admissions varied depending on the budget situation and the number of enrolled students. This fall, SJSU has already filled every spot available to California residents for the entire academic year, meaning California residents are filling all seats supported by a combination of state and tuition dollars. So SJSU opened spring admissions to only non-resident graduate students from elsewhere in the United States or abroad who cover the full cost of their education in higher tuition without state support. This touched off a series of stories in the major media, including the San Jose Mercury News and KQED news radio. Is this fair? Who is to blame? On Aug. 16, as a guest on KQED’s news talk show “Forum,” President Qayoumi explained that millions of dollars in state budget cuts for public higher education means SJSU lacks the funding to admit all California residents who would like to attend. Listen to the show.

Why SJSU is Cutting 500 Sections

SJSU Accepting Non-Resident Graduate Students in Spring 2013

Why SJSU is Accepting Non-Resident Graduate Students in Spring 2013

On Aug. 16, as a guest on KQED’s news talk show “Forum,” President Qayoumi explained that millions of dollars in state budget cuts for public higher education means SJSU lacks the funding to admit all California residents who would like to attend.

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

In the past, this time of year was when SJSU accepted applications for spring admissions, mostly from community college transfer students, but also from graduate students entering programs accepting newcomers in the middle of the academic year. Beginning in 2009, when SJSU was hit by severe budget cuts, spring admissions varied depending on the budget situation and the number of enrolled students. This fall, SJSU has already filled every spot available to California residents for the entire academic year, meaning California residents are filling all seats supported by a combination of state and tuition dollars. So SJSU opened spring admissions to only non-resident graduate students from elsewhere in the United States or abroad who cover the full cost of their education in higher tuition without state support. This touched off a series of stories in the major media, including the San Jose Mercury News and KQED news radio. Is this fair? Who is to blame? On Aug. 16, as a guest on KQED’s news talk show “Forum,” President Qayoumi explained that millions of dollars in state budget cuts for public higher education means SJSU lacks the funding to admit all California residents who would like to attend. Listen to the show.

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California State University Considers Budget Alternatives

CSU logo

Governor's May Revision Avoids Direct Cuts to CSU

System outlines options dependent on Governor’s tax measure

Media Contacts: Claudia Keith or Mike Uhlenkamp, (562) 951-4800

(July 16, 2012) – With the state budget for 2012-13 now signed, the California State University Board of Trustees will discuss budget options for the system at its regularly scheduled board meeting tomorrow. The final budget relies on the successful passage of the Governor’s tax measure in November. University officials will lay out the difficult budget choices if voters don’t approve the measure and the CSU faces an additional $250 million mid-year “trigger” cut. Options include strategies to reduce payroll costs, a “triggered” mid-year tuition fee increase, enrollment reductions, and other ideas will all be part of the contingencies considered. View the CSU Budget Central website, the SJSU Budget Central website, or current SJSU tuition and campus fees.

“These are all difficult challenges and choices that the CSU must consider to address our severe budget situation,” said Robert Turnage, assistant vice chancellor for budget.

Facing a nearly $16 billion deficit, the state budget adopted by the legislature and the Governor keeps the CSU’s budget essentially flat. However, should the Governor’s tax measure fail, the CSU will face an additional $250 million mid-year “trigger” cut. In that event, the system will have lost almost $1.2 billion or 39% of its state support since 2007-08.

Over the past several months, the CSU has been meeting and holding consultative discussions with its stakeholders to gather input and feedback on budget options. While the board will consider strategies to address the budget problem at its July meeting, it isn’t expected to make final decisions on a contingency budget plan until it meets in September.

Ongoing Budget Deficit
As a result of drastic state budget cuts and increases in mandatory costs such as employee health care premiums, the CSU has a funding gap of approximately $510 million. This is despite increases in tuition fee revenue of $593 million that have only partially filled the hole created by more than $1 billion in state funding reductions.

In addition, the budget just approved has an option for a delayed tuition buy out that appropriates $125 million in next year’s budget, but only if the Governor’s tax measure passes and if the CSU board rolls back the tuition increase already in effect for fall 2012. The CSU had expected to receive $132 million of net revenue from the tuition increase for this fiscal year, and the 23 campuses have already built their budgets and planned course schedules based on this revenue. The system is working to identify a solution to replace the lost revenue for the current fiscal year.

Although the campuses and the Chancellor’s Office have implemented numerous cost reduction actions – including furloughs and a workforce reduction of more than 3,000 employees – a large portion of the funding gap has been covered by one-time resources and deferrals.

“We are at the point where the use of one-time funds to address ongoing budget cuts is not sustainable,” said CSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Benjamin Quillian. “It is not possible to continue to patch over budget holes. We need to take actions that reduce our costs going forward. That is the only way we will be able to serve students with the classes and support services that they need.”

Staff will present two alternative strategies to address a potential $250 million mid-year “trigger” cut with both options sharing components including reducing salaries or increasing employees’ share of benefit costs; reducing faculty assigned time and sabbaticals; charging for excess units, and the use of continuing education funds and other one-time resources. One option preserves access by not cutting enrollment while the other relies on larger payroll reductions by maintaining tuition fee levels.

“Trigger on trigger”
Under this option, the board would authorize at its September meeting a contingency mid-year tuition fee increase of $150 per semester or about 5% that would be “triggered” if the CSU faces a $250 million cut if the tax initiative fails. There would be no incremental set aside for financial aid since that would require a larger increase to generate the same net revenue, and would result in a larger burden for students without significant financial aid. The CSU already provides almost $700 million in tuition subsidies for students with the greatest financial need. There would also be no further enrollment reductions under this approach.

Employee pay/benefit reductions
Since 85% of CSU’s budget is personnel related, reductions in employee pay or increases in the amount employees pay for benefits will need to be considered. Options include systemwide reductions in personnel costs that could be achieved through negotiated reductions in employee salaries, or alternatively, through greater cost-sharing of health benefit premiums.

Reduce enrollment/reduce faculty and staff positions
If the CSU’s budget is cut an additional $250 million and no new tuition fee increase is implemented, the CSU would need to reduce 2013-14 enrollment by 6,000 students, and eliminate the associated 750 faculty/staff positions.

Faculty Assigned Time and Sabbaticals
Campuses have reduced assigned time, but further prioritization of non-teaching activities could result in savings of up to $25 million.

Third Level Pricing Structure
All of the new pricing strategies would provide more room for incoming students, help students progress to degree, and ensure that diminishing state resources are used to effectively serve as many students as possible.

Specifics include:

  • Charging for the full cost of any units over 16 per semester
  • Charging a “course repeat” fee for any single class taken by a student more than once
  • Implementing a graduation incentive fee for “super seniors” who have already taken five years worth of academic credit funded by the state
  • Increase tuition supplement for nonresident students by $1,000

One Time Transfer of Continuing Education Reserves
Both approaches include a transfer of approximately $75 million from CSU’s Continuing Education Revenue Fund. This would provide significant relief to the “state side” of the university for 2012-13 but would be one-time and restricted to that fiscal year.

The board will also take action on a resolution to endorse the Governor’s tax measure.

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 427,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. The CSU awards about 99,000 degrees annually and since its creation in 1961 has conferred nearly 2.6 million. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. The mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. Connect with and learn more about the CSU at CSU Social Media. Show how the CSU matters to you and take action.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren to Speak Out on Student Loan Interest Rates

Rep. Zoe Lofgren to Speak Out on Student Loan Interest Rates

Rep. Zoe Lofgren to Speak Out on Student Loan Interest Rates

Rep. Zoe Lofgren

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

As Washington debates extending the interest rate cut on subsidized Stafford loans, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren plans to hold a news conference on the topic 11 a.m. May 3 outdoors at the Associated Students House near South Fourth and East San Carlos streets. Five years ago, Congress cut the interest rate for subsidized Stafford loans in half, from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent. But that was a temporary measure, due to expire July 1. Bouncing back to a 6.8 percent interest rate would affect 7.4 million students and cost each an average $1,000 over the life of their loans, according to the Obama administration. More than 8,420 SJSU undergraduates received a total of $34.7 million in 2011-2012 through the direct subsidized Stafford loan program. At this point, many Democrats and Republicans in Washington including Lofgren support extending the interest rate cut. The question is how to pay for it. The Congressional Budget Office estimates a one-year freeze on the interest rate for subsidized Stafford loans would cost $6 billion. Here’s more from The New York Times and CBS News.

SJSU in the News: CSU Chancellor Avoids Mid-Year Tuition Increase Despite State Budget Woes

Cal State, community college chiefs preparing to slash spending plans

Originally published in the San Jose Mercury News Aug. 22, 2011.

By Terence Chea
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — As the new school year begins, California’s public colleges and universities are preparing for the possibility of more state budget cuts that could lead to higher tuition and fewer classes, education leaders said Monday.

The chancellors of California State University and California Community Colleges said their campuses are making plans to cope with midyear cuts that appear increasingly likely.

In the state budget for the fiscal year beginning July, the 23-campus CSU system lost $650 million, while the 112-campus community college system lost $400 million and raised fees from $26 to $36 per unit.

The two systems will face more funding cuts in the middle of the academic year if state tax revenue falls below estimates, triggering automatic cuts to education and social services.

“The budget is the big elephant in the room that we all need to worry about going forward,” CSU Chancellor Charles Reed said during a conference call with reporters. “I need to figure out how to manage what could be a midyear crisis.”

Last week, State Controller John Chiang said tax revenue fell nearly $539 million below projections in July, pushing the state closer toward the so-called trigger cuts. His report came as economic worries led to steep declines on Wall Street, a worrisome trend for a state that relies heavily on income and capital gains taxes from the wealthy.

State finance officials said Chiang’s numbers may be overly pessimistic because July is traditionally a low revenue month, and it’s too early to say whether the trigger cuts will be needed.The Cal State system, which has 412,000 students, stands to lose an additional $100 million if the midyear cuts are triggered, which would likely result in fewer course sections, fewer instructors and larger class sizes, Reed said.

He wants to avoid a midyear tuition increase because CSU students will already be paying more than 20 percent more this year than last.

The community college system, which served 2.75 million students last year, would lose an additional $72 million and raise fees to $46 per unit if midyear cuts are triggered.

Campuses would be forced to further reduce course offerings and summer sessions, potentially turning away hundreds of thousands of students, Chancellor Jack Scott said.

“This is a tragedy for students, and this is a tragedy for the state of California that desperately needs trained personnel,” Scott said.

On a brighter note, the chancellors said Monday the two systems have made significant progress in implementing a new state law to make it easier for community college students to transfer to a CSU campus

SJSU Welcomes 28,000 Students to 2011-2012 Academic Year

Young man and lady holding ice cream cones (photos by Elena Polanco).

Fall term began with a Student Success Fair, featuring a free "meet and eat" ice cream social sponsored by the SJSU Alumni Association (photos by Elena Polanco).

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

Fall term began Aug. 24 with approximately 28,000 students arriving on campus for the first day of classes and for Fall Welcome events, including a Student Success Fair featuring a free “meet and eat” ice cream social sponsored by the SJSU Alumni Association.

Students crowded the San Carlos plaza for the fair, moved from its usual spot along El Paseo de Cesar E. Chavez to make way for construction crews, who spent the summer operating a towering pile driver building a foundation for the new Student Union. Students also packed the Spartan Bookstore, offering new products and services under Barnes & Noble management.

The campus crowd included 4,000 freshmen, SJSU’s largest first-year class in ten years, the result of more applicants meeting admissions standards, coupled with a greater percentage of those admitted completing the intent to enroll process, including orientation and registration.

The bumper crop of freshmen resulted in a campus housing shortage. Beginning Aug. 20, roughly 90 returning students who had planned to live in the dorms were assigned to the Clarion Hotel, where at least one resident found “the amenities outweigh any inconvenience.” Meanwhile, over 3,600 students settled into Campus Village, Joe West Hall and The Bricks.

Dr. Mohammad Qayoumi began the week by delivering his first Fall Welcome Address as SJSU president, announcing that his office would hold 40 town hall meetings during September so that the campus community can begin sketching out a new strategic plan for the university.

The president also highlighted good news on academic performance. “Our last two graduating classes, for both first-time frosh and transfers, have shown marked improvement of about five percent increases in six-year graduation rates,” he told the 800 or so students, faculty and staff who filled Morris Dailey Auditorium.

Factors that could be contributing to higher grad rates include intense academic advising, featuring online resources and a focus on seniors with 120 or more credits. Other factors might include the CSU’s Early Assessment Program and SJSU’s MUSE program, and economic conditions like tuition increases and a competitive job market.

A marked improvement in the academic performance of our football team means the Spartans will begin the 2011 season against Stanford Sept. 3 with a full complement of 85 scholarship players. The good news came as the athletics department completed a year-long self study, culminating in its third NCAA certification.

California State University Seal

Following $650 Million Budget Cut, CSU Trustees Approve Additional Tuition Increase

California State University Seal

"We will focus on serving our current students by offering as many classes and course sections as possible," Chancellor Reed said.

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

SJSU basic registration fees for full-time undergrads will rise to $3,414 from $3,120 for fall 2011, the result of a tuition bump California State University trustees approved today.

Fall 2011 basic registration fees include $2,736 in tuition used for instruction and $280 in campus-based fees for services such as the Student Union and Student Health Center. Read more on the SJSU busar’s website.

One-third of the revenue from the tuition increase will be allocated for financial aid, and an estimated 170,000 needy students–almost half of all CSU undergraduates–will be fully covered for the tuition increase thanks to this provision and other grants and fee waivers.

In addition, many students and families not fully covered by financial aid will benefit from federal tax credits available for family incomes of up to $180,000.

“The enormous reduction to our state funding has left us with no other choice if we are to maintain quality and access to the CSU,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. The CSU depends on just two major revenue streams, tuition and state funding.

Funding from the tuition increase will be prioritized on the classroom so that campuses can continue to offer needed courses and sections. Conservative planning has left SJSU in good shape to weather the latest round of cuts without reducing services to students.

Read a CSU news release.

SJSU in the News: Proposed Tuition Increase Leaves Students Scrambling for Jobs, Loans, Paid Internships

CSU, UC students brace for another round of tuition hikes

Originally published in the San Jose Mercury News July 10, 2011

By Lisa M. Krieger and Ellen Huet

Wendy Yang is working as hard as she can to save enough money to someday attend California State University.

But the rise in tuition is outpacing her paycheck.

On Tuesday, the CSU’s Board of Trustees votes on a 12 percent hike for a semester that starts in less than three months. That’s $1,272 more than it cost two years ago, when Wang enrolled in community college in Cupertino, landed a job in Milpitas — and set her sights on CSU-Pomona.

With a constantly moving target, “my friends and I are worried,” Yang said. “I’m trying to save money, and I love my job. But it seems like every couple of months, fees keep going up.”

University of California students are facing an increase as well — their ninth in eight years — if the Board of Regents approves a 9.6 percent hike at Thursday’s meeting.

The schools say the hikes are necessary to help offset the $150 million in additional budget cuts approved for each system when Gov. Jerry Brown signed the new state budget last month. In turn, the schools say they will boost financial aid to help. In addition to tuition hikes, both systems will cut operational costs, on top of previous cuts.

UC is even taking more desperate measures, such as increasing the payout from endowments and drawing down from an employee/retiree healthcare reserve.

Students and their families say that the average business couldn’t sustain such sudden, unpredictable and significant cost increases — and similarly, it busts their well-planned household budgets. “We weren’t prepared for such relentless fee increases,” said Morgan Hill’s Eric Acedo, 20, an environmental studies major at San Jose State. He already works one part-time job, as an office assistant — but wants a second one.

“I work as many hours as possible, but I’m looking for another. Everybody I know is looking for a job,” he said. “I should be studying full-time.”

University educators and analysts say the year-to-year state budget cuts make it equally tough for them to plan for their future.

“Schools are doing lots of things to get through this emergency. But it is very hard to plan your fiscal future when things are changing,” said researcher John Douglass of UC Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Higher Education. As state support keeps receding, he said, “You’re always waiting for another shoe to drop.”

Last-minute fee hikes and emergency cost-cutting “are all just reactive,” said William G. Tierney, director of the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis at the University of Southern California. “We haven’t heard a single thing from the governor about his vision for higher education — what he wants it to be.”

California is not alone in this mess: State support of higher education has sunk to the lowest level recorded in more than 30 years, according to a recent report by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, which tracks and reports these trends in annual financial reports.

Florida’s state schools are hiking tuition 15 percent — for the third year in a row. The University of Washington is considering a 20 percent boost in next fall’s tuition. Nevada’s Board of Regents voted earlier this month to raise tuition 13 percent at the state’s public colleges. At the University of Arizona, incoming freshmen are paying double what this spring’s graduating seniors paid — $10,035 a year, up from $5,037 four years ago.

More than two dozen governors are seeking slashed college funding, a possible $5 billion in cuts nationwide, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers.

“But what’s unique in California is the magnitude of the crisis — the size of the budget deficit, combined with a growing population,” Douglass said. “This puts it in a league of its own.”

“We used to be leaders,” said William G. Tierney, director of the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis at the University of Southern California. “It’s a tragedy.”

Tierney fears the growing debt on students who can least afford it. In 2009, Tierney remembers a UCLA student with no parental support needed to take out $3,567 in loans for a year of school; next fall, he has a student who will borrow $9,200.

Increasing fees mean that students may need to make tough choices about internships, which are often unpaid, said SJSU’s career center director Cheryl Allmen-Vinnedge.

“Many students would love to be able to accept an internship but perhaps it’s not as well-paying — so they’re forced to make choices between getting experience and putting food on the table,” she said. And if they’re sharing a house with roommates, to save money, “they have to think twice when they’re offered an internship in Washington D.C.”

“Many of ours students have several part-time jobs,” she added.

To help, Daniel Newell of SJSU’s Career Center has assembled a report compiling “job opportunities to meet rising student debt. With the downturn economy the past few years, rising tuition and debt, the college wanted to react to this,” he said.

Student groups are lobbying for a bill to make CSU and UC give students at least six months notice before raising tuition. But schools warn the bill could hurt students more than it would help, because campuses would need to reduce enrollment and close classes to cover revenue shortfalls.

“Tuition is the biggest lever you have” to quickly generate new revenue, when the state suddenly cuts support, Douglass said.

“We have been suffering a million small cuts,” he said, “but now we’re getting bludgeoned.”