In order to help students and faculty to better understand the pressure its administration is under to make cuts and balance the budget, the university is hosting educational sessions about the CSU budget today and next week.
The sessions, called â€œBudget 101,â€ focus on the universityâ€™s operating and general budgets and provide a breakdown of CSUâ€™s revenues and expenses, something that university leaders say is vital information the public needs to participate in future budget discussions.
They will take place in the Lory Student Center North Ballroom today from 1 to 3:30 p.m. and Monday from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the LSC Cherokee Park Ballroom.
Seeing revenue and expense sources will help people to â€œsee the (budget) picture come together,â€ Interim Provost Rick Miranda said, â€œand help (them) to understand choices the administration makes.â€
â€œThe more we educate, the better off weâ€™ll be,â€ he said.
In this yearâ€™s budget sessions â€“â€“Â last year was the first year â€œBudget 101â€ was hosted â€“â€“Â the community should expect to see a large decrease in the amount of state appropriations CSU will receive in fiscal year 2011 and a greater dependency on tuition dollars, Miranda said.
The amount of stimulus funding CSU will receive in FY11 will decrease too, eventually running out in 2012, the year politicians have called the financial â€œcliffâ€ in the world of higher education.
The largest expenditure Miranda said people will see at the sessions is the universityâ€™s investment in its students â€“â€“Â the universityâ€™s financial aid program is expected to expand by $4.5 million. Both the need-based and merit-based packages for students will expand, he said.
Both Miranda and CSU spokesperson Brad Bohlander said the community response to last yearâ€™s budget sessions was generally positive, drawing about 200 people in total.
â€œWord got out that it was a worthwhile experience, and I think this year will be the same,â€ Miranda said.
The â€œBudget 101â€ sessions follow the universityâ€™s budget hearings at which all CSU departments presented the administration with their proposed budgets for FY11 and the areas they could cut if necessary.
Based on these budget plans, presented on Jan. 27, the administration will compile CSUâ€™s initial, FY11 draft budget. This budget will be issued to the university community by mid-February for review and feedback, spokesperson Emily Wilmsen said in a press release.
A final open planning and budget hearing is scheduled on March 10 from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Lory Student Center North Ballroom.
After the budget is finalized, a copy will be sent to the CSU System Board of Governors for final approval before the new fiscal year starts June 1.
News Managing Editor Madeline Novey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
â€˜Budget 101â€™ sessions
- Today:* 1 to 3:30 p.m., Lory Student Center North Ballroom
Monday, Feb. 15:* 3:30 to 5 p.m., LSC Cherokee Park Ballroom