President's Office

Cost-Saving Measures in Response to Current Budget Situation

January 20, 2009

To All Faculty and Staff,

Chancellor Reed recently sent an email to all CSU employees about the state’s current financial condition and outlined the ways in which the CSU system is responding with cost-saving measures.

My message today is intended to clarify what these responses mean to us at Cal State Northridge. Please rest assured that Cal State Northridge will continue to respond and manage in ways consistent with protecting the University’s academic mission, our ability to provide programs and services in support of students, the jobs of permanent staff and tenured and tenure-track faculty, and the University’s long-term goals.

I have previously written to you through email and my blog about one of the steps discussed by the Chancellor. During the holiday break, in response to the state’s cash-flow crisis, the Department of Finance ordered all state agencies, including the CSU, to suspend work on state-bond funded construction projects. At Cal State Northridge, this affected construction of the Valley Performing Arts Center, Chaparral Hall, and several minor capital improvement projects. I announced on January 2 in a campus-wide email that work has been temporarily stopped on the Valley Performing Arts Center project. Because Chaparral Hall is close to completion, we are working with the Chancellor’s Office to identify alternative sources of funding for continued construction. Non-state-funded construction projects, including our G3 parking structure and new student housing, are not affected. These projects will continue as planned.

The Chancellor also spoke of new mandatory measures: the cancellation of non-critical equipment and supply purchases, a hiring freeze on positions except those essential to the operation of the University, and travel restrictions.

At Cal State Northridge, we have anticipated for some time that the state’s financial situation would be difficult during this fiscal year. As such, our campus vice presidents have individually and collectively planned for these financial circumstances, and have put into place processes and procedures to ensure prudent budgetary decisions.

As part of this effort, divisional leaders will continue, as they have for the past 24 months, to carefully review and evaluate equipment and supply purchases, limiting purchases to those judged essential for the continued and effective functioning of the University. Similarly, over the past year and in anticipation of the need to reduce spending, positions have been held vacant in all divisions. Many of these positions will remain unfilled over the coming year, but the vice presidents will continue to approve hiring deemed essential for the effective functioning of the University. Travel requests have been, and will continue to be, evaluated by divisional leaders based on the mission-driven needs of the University.

I am very grateful for everyone’s commitment and hard work during these uncertain times, and ask for your continued forbearance during this period of financial ambiguity and difficulty. Despite the uncertain circumstances facing us, I know that all of you continue to do outstanding work on behalf of the University and our students. I remain confident of Cal State Northridge’s ability to weather these challenging times. My promise to you as President is to meet your dedication and trust with my best efforts, and to keep you apprised of the situation as it evolves. I have asked Tom McCarron, Vice President for Administration and Finance, to provide further updates to the campus community as we receive new information relative to the 2008-09 and 2009-10 budgets.

It is a great credit to all of you and to our campus that, even in these trying times, the University continues to excel in producing quality academic programs, scholarship and creative activity, and services for our students and community. Let us continue to move forward in 2009 with optimism and commitment to our academic mission.

Jolene Koester
President

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