CSU Chancellor’s Memo 1-9-09 And Comments.

CSU Chancellor’s Memo 1-9-09 And Comments.

Charles B. Reed, Chancellor for the California State University system sent out a memo, 1-9-09, titled “Cost Saving Measures and Budget Update”.    The e-mail reminds the reader of the simply awful financial situation the people of California face which has impacted the CSU system.  The Chancellor describes the cost cutting efforts of his office:

  • Travel restrictions for employees.
  • Cancellation of all non-critical equipment and supply purchases
  • Hiring freeze on all positions except those essential to the operation of the university.
  • Salary freeze for all vice president level positions and above including presidents’ and vice chancellors’ salaries and my salary, effective immediately through the 2009-10 budget year.
  • Suspend and shut down state-funded design and construction projects on all of our campuses.

Analysis:
#1.  Staff that have been run through this course before know that there are exceptions to all of the bullet points listed above.  How serious the CSU system “sees” this problem will be shown by how many exceptions will be allowed.

#2.  The Chancellor’s e-mail ends with this statemet: “I encourage our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and labor unions to work together to tell our elected officials as well as our local business, community and civic leaders, that the CSU is the economic powerhouse that provides the highly skilled professionals to the industries that make California successful, and that higher education is a long-term investment that benefits everyone.”     We recommend that the Chancellor does get what he wishes if that is possible.  Cutting back education for a short interval might be a part of a short term aid to this budget crisis.  But, there is a perception that this recession is so dire, that it is expected to last a very long time.  We recommend that the CSU system pay for any special exception by improving its operation by conforming to these system changes:

Find ways to make the CSU system more efficient, fewer managers,  transparent operations, and offer parent advisory committee, in its operations.  In addition some more recommendations:

  • Delete all academic deans from the CSU system, allowing the removal of this unnecessary layer of “management”.
  • Down size all vice president positions to two per campus, one academic, other facility operations.
  • Require exit interviews and find a way for these interviews to be used to root out under performing administrators.
  • Require ombudsmen for each campus over a set number of students and give this person some clout to investigate complaints and follow up with appropriate action to achieve a solution.  The Ombudsmen’s jurisdiction must cover faculty, staff and low level administrators.

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