Update Regarding SJSU 2020-2021 Fiscal Year Budget

Dear campus community,

With the month of September quickly coming to a close, SJSU is finalizing its budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. I wanted to provide an update to my message from July, which discussed the California State University’s $299 million budget cut from the state and potential implications for our university, including how we will do our best to protect employees’ job stability.

Like many institutions around the country, SJSU is impacted greatly by the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the state budget. In order to ensure transparency with regard to  decision-making, and recognition of the complexity of this very important topic, we have posted a story on the SJSU Newsroom and a video featuring vice president of finance and administration and CFO Charlie Faas that provides a comprehensive look at this year’s budget.

The crucial elements of our 2020-2021 fiscal year budget are:

  • SJSU estimates a financial shortfall of more than $92 million from lost revenue and COVID-related expenses tied to the state’s budget reduction and university-specific revenue streams; 
  • Layoffs are the least preferred option for SJSU, and we continue to look at the budget to find creative solutions to the looming financial challenges we face without resorting to layoffs; 
  • Despite the expected financial shortfall over the next three years, SJSU is committed to continuing the work necessary to achieve the goals of the Transformation 2030 strategic plan — including graduation rate increases, tenure-track faculty hiring and start-up, research growth, safety, equity and racial justice, and growth of graduate studies; and 
  • Given the long-term impacts of COVID-19, SJSU looks to draw on about 60 percent of its reserves in the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The remaining reserves will be largely expended in the next two fiscal years.

I invite you to read the story and watch the video to learn more about how SJSU will continue to deliver its mission through this pandemic and remain the most transformative university in the country. 


Dr. Mary A. Papazian