California State University representatives met with state legislative leadership in Sacramento May 30 to advocate for sufficient state funding for the CSU, reminding them that the CSU is the key to California’s future.

Throughout the day, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White along with CSU trustees, presidents, and students, faculty and staff met with state lawmakers to illustrate the CSU's leadership in addressing critical issues to the state and discuss the university's 2018-19 operating budget request.

The event was part of a larger advocacy campaign on social media that began in January, during which the CSU and its representatives urged legislators and supporters to #ChooseCSU.

Chancellor White met with legislators, including Assembly Speaker and proud CSU alumnus Anthony Rendon, who tweeted his support, saying: 

“My education at Cal State Fullerton sparked an intellectual journey that continues today. The Cal State system was a key to my success in life – and for so many other Californians who #ChooseCSU.”

The CSU stands ready to meet California’s workforce needs, which include preparing an additional 500,000 graduates with high-quality degrees by 2025 to power the state’s economy. To succeed, additional on-going state funding is required to increase tenure-track faculty and student-support services, expand course offerings, and welcome qualified California students.

On May 11, Governor Jerry Brown released his revised 2018-19 state budget proposal, which included an ongoing increase of $92.1 million for the CSU and $100 million in one-time funding for use to support deferred maintenance. While any increase in funding is welcome, the amount falls $171 million short of the CSU’s actual need to sustain student success and provide authentic access.

"We are grateful that Governor Brown has dedicated one-time funding to help address some of our large backlog of deferred maintenance,” said White. 

“However, with state revenue continuing to exceed projections – and California facing a large need for more educated citizens over the next decade — there is both a need and an opportunity to reinvest in the operating budgets of public higher education — and the CSU specifically.” 

In their 2018-19 budget request, CSU trustees had requested an increase of $263 million to address critical priorities including Graduation Initiative 2025, enrollment growth, obligatory increases for employee compensation, healthcare and retirement costs and infrastructure. 

Under Graduation Initiative 2025, completion and retention rates have reached all-time highs as nearly 100,000 graduates earned a high-quality bachelor's degree in 2017. On April 20, White announced that the university would not increase tuition in the 2018-19 academic year.
 
Without sufficient funding from the state, the university will face adverse consequences including the slowing of recent advances in student achievement. 

Supporters can help the CSU advocate for sufficient, sustained funding from the state by contacting their local representatives and tweeting their support: https://www2.calstate.edu/invest-in-the-future/Pages/what-you-can-do.aspx.