The proposed budget includes a $263.0 million increase to the CSU’s General Fund base budget, for a total of $3.7 billion, including debt service that, when combined with tuition and fee revenue, represents an operating budget total of $6.8 billion. The proposed General Fund increase will fund Graduation Initiative 2025, compensation increases, one percent enrollment growth, facilities and infrastructure needs, and various mandatory cost obligations including increased employer costs for health care and retirement.
The CSU receives about 46 percent of its gross operating revenue from tuition and fees. Estimated tuition and fee revenue in the 2018-19 operating budget is $3.1 billion, with $19.9 million in new tuition revenue from a one percent resident enrollment increase. From this tuition revenue, the CSU allocates over $700 million for State University Grants.
Each year the CSU at its 23 campuses and the Chancellor’s Office face price increases and inflation. These cost increases in areas such as communication, information technology, contractual services, library subscriptions, instructional equipment, and travel are not built into the incremental budget request of the CSU. Instead, campuses make decisions annually to redistribute budgets to cover these costs, finding efficiencies in purchasing and cost sharing across the system, and reallocating from under-utilized programs to the most pressing needs of the campus. The cost increases in non-personnel costs for 2018-19 are estimated to be $17.4 million using a ten-year average of the Higher Education Price Index.
The total proposed 2018–19 operating budget plan increase is $282.9 million from a combination of state General Fund and tuition and fee revenue.
The CSU’s highest priority is the full funding by the state of the 2018-19 operating budget plan. If the CSU is not fully successful in this effort, the university will have to consider other, more difficult options. One of those options is to consider raising tuition for the 2018-19 academic year. The university will follow the consultative process required by the Working Families Student Fee Transparency and Accountability Act. If a tuition proposal is made, it will be provided to student leadership later this fall, discussed with the Board of Trustees at its January 2018 meeting, and potentially considered by the Board of Trustees at its March 2018 meeting.