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President Koester's Message to Students for Spring 2011

Below is a transcript of the video embedded below of President Jolene Koester's message to students for Spring 2011. This message was posted on December 13, 2010. For a printer-friendly PDF version of the message, click here.

Below is a closed captioned video to students from President Jolene Koester.

I'm Jolene Koester, and I'm the President of California State University, Northridge. My greetings to you as you prepare to begin the spring semester here at Cal State Northridge. I want to speak to you today about two important and related topics. The first is the increase in the State University Fee for the spring semester, and second, I want to give you some advice about how you are going to approach registration for classes for the spring term.

Let me begin with that five percent increase in the State University Fee that the Board of Trustees for the CSU approved last month. Many of you wonder why this five percent fee increase had to be implemented. There is really a pretty simple explanation, and that is, in the budget for the California State University that was finally passed in early October, that five percent of essential dollars was not included in the final budget. We know that this additional increase for many of you creates hardships and financial challenges. We know that fees have gone up over the last several years, and again many of you wonder why that is happening. There is again a pretty simple explanation here. This University's operating budget comes principally from two sources. One is appropriations from the state of California, and those appropriations from the state of California have over the last several years gone down. The other major source of revenue for how the University operates is student fees, and because the state appropriations have gone down, student fees have had to go up.

Now we are going to try to do what we can in this spring semester to help meet your academic needs with classes in the spring schedule, but we need you to do and follow several pieces of advice. First, we want to encourage all of you to be flexible with your schedule in the spring. The University does offer a very, very large number of our classes during the prime time of the day between ten and two, but obviously we cannot offer every section of every course during that time. So, please be flexible. Look at other times of the day. Look at other days as opportunities for you to build and fill out that full load that we hope that you will take in the spring. The second piece of advice is to talk with your advisor, to make sure that courses that you think are requirements are in fact the only courses that you can take to meet the academic requirements of your major. Ask that advisor whether or not there are appropriate substitutes, other courses that you might take. And finally, I want to urge all of you to repeatedly check through SOLAR for additional spaces in classes that might have opened up, and most importantly, for additional sections of courses. We are going to be monitoring your requests for classes. We are going to be monitoring that demand, and when there is sufficient demand, if we can find qualified faculty to teach the course, we are going to try to add additional courses in order to meet that demand. We want you to graduate in a timely way. We want to reduce your overall costs for attending the University by speeding up, improving, the time that it takes for you to graduate.

I wish you well. Please be flexible, talk to the advisor, and check with SOLAR, because I would like to see as many of you at graduation as soon as it is academically possible to see you there. Good luck.

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