Message to Campus Community: Budget Update

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

We received a memo from CSU Chancellor Charles Reed last Friday on the state budget situation and its impact on the California State University system. I am e-mailing you today to let you know how we at San José State will deal with the ongoing budget uncertainties.

Our primary goal will be to continue to deliver quality education to our students, and to offer the classes they need to graduate in a timely fashion. For the spring semester, students will receive their Cal grants and SJSU classes will continue as planned.

For the fall, we have already taken a very important step to ensure the quality of education for all of our students; that is, by limiting the number of new students we admit. This was not a decision made easily, but we believe it would be irresponsible, given the state's steep budget shortfalls, to admit more students than we can appropriately educate. In this economic climate, setting limits to our enrollment is key to maintaining the overall quality and viability of our university.

In addition, in keeping with the CSU guidelines for cost savings, we will be giving careful scrutiny to travel expenses, non-critical equipment purchases and the hiring of new personnel. We will implement a salary freeze for San José State managers, starting with the vice presidents and me. While there is a suspension of major state-funded construction system-wide, San José State currently has no major construction projects underway.

A question you may be asking is, "What about my job?" I want to assure you that despite budget uncertainties, we are committed to doing all we can to avoid layoffs at San José State. You, our faculty and staff, are our most important asset and the heart of our enterprise.

This is a university that has come through difficult times before, and we will again. We are fortunate to have sound financial management, and if the situation at the state level does not worsen dramatically, I believe that with our good planning and careful management of our resources, we will weather this storm.

I will continue to keep you informed on budget issues this semester as they arise. Also, we will hold an open forum on the budget situation in early February. The vice presidents and I will bring you an update then, and will welcome your questions, thoughts and concerns.

Meantime, I ask you to join me in making wise use of our state resources for the advancement of San José State.

President Jon Whitmore