Office of the President
A Difficult Budget Year
The diminished condition of the state’s economy has created several hard realities for the CSU: a probable cut of at least 10 percent in its 2009-2010 overall budget, and a 15 percent reduction in general fund support, which will inevitably lead to furthering tightening on enrollment. The CSU Presidents will meet with the Chancellor in June to ascertain how to meet these challenges. There will be continuing updates on the CSU Budget Central web page, at http://blogs.calstate.edu/budgetcentral.
Whenever student fees are raised, it has a differential impact on students; and, particularly with the current state of the economy, the decision to raise student fees is difficult. Fortunately, a large majority – about 65 percent of Cal State L.A. students qualify for some form of financial aid to help pay for educational expenses. According to the CSU Chancellor’s Office, of the students who receive need-based financial aid, 80 percent will not pay any fee increase. More detail is available here.
The budget passed in February by California’s legislature assumed a 10 percent increase for undergraduate, graduate and credential student fees.
On the positive side, the federal stimulus package increased the maximum Pell Award by $619, to $5,350 per year.
CSU undergraduate student fees are still the lowest of comparable public institutions. A chart of the CSU versus comparison institutions is available here. More information is available at http://blogs.calstate.edu/budgetcentral/
New Professional MBA Fee Adopted
The CSU will begin implementing a professional fee for state-supported Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) programs and similar business graduate degrees. Though the new fee represents an additional $140 per quarter unit, the cost for these programs—at $9,174—will remain below the average charged by comparable institutions.
Up to one-third of the new fee revenue will be set aside for financial aid, with the remainder used to recruit highly skilled faculty to make accreditation of these graduate programs more secure. The Graduate Business Professional Fee will apply to the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and the Master of Science (M.S.) programs as follows: Accountancy; Business Administration; Health Care Management, and Information Systems.
Applied Biotechnology to join PSM lineup
By joining the academic resources of Cal State L.A., Cal Poly Pomona and CSU Fullerton, the CSU will initiate a new graduate program in Applied Biotechnology Systems (or PABS) this summer.
The program, part of the CSU’s growing Professional Science Master’s (PSM) offerings, extends the system’s legacy of enhancing the long-term prosperity of California through strategic partnerships, inclusiveness and excellence.
Cal State L.A., with stellar faculty and laboratories in biochemistry and related disciplines, is very well-positioned geographically and academically to play a major role. For example, on May 6, the University brought together representatives from the CSU, the trio of campuses, biotechnology companies, and the Southern California Biomedical Council to advance discussions on how the program can best prepare its students for productive roles in the field.
Such frank, two-way collaborations and conversations allow for the retooling and refining of curricula to maintain relevance. This exchange of ideas also allows the university to partner better with industry and other external organizations to pursue internship programs, and it provides input from the cutting-edge of biotechnology. For more information on the summer programs, please go to http://sites.google.com/a/exchange.fullerton.edu/pabs-mbt/Home
Kudos on Program Successes
Recently the Department of Chicano Studies, the first such academic program in the country, celebrated its 40th anniversary. Through innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and commitment and excellence among its students and faculty, this program has demonstrated how a new academic field can be cultivated to yield an enriching intellectual harvest.
Two recent events further showcase the commitment to interdisciplinary excellence at Cal State L.A:
--Reel Rasquache, the University’s film festival showcasing the Latino experience in the U.S., attracted hundreds to its sixth annual rendition. Among the highlights were the honoring of luminary director Luis Valdez and the premiere of “Las Grandes de East L.A. and Boyle Heights.”
--The 2009 Mesoamerica Conference – “Continuity and Change in Mesoamerican History, From the Pre-Classic to the Colonial Era” – attracted not only Cal State L.A. scholars, but others from institutions such as Harvard and UCLA, and places as distant as Berlin, the Ukraine and Mexico.