Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Budget Update

April 26, 2016

Kenneth P. Monteiro, Dean, College of Ethnic Studies

  • Though early discussions had included possible implications for the current year situation (2015-2016), the president made clear in the February 25th meeting that there will be no impact on this year, and that the discussion is focused on the 2016-2017 academic year.
  • The position of the college remains that our problem emanates from the full implementation of past cuts as memorialized in the formal allocation to the college. In the past, Academic Affairs had contributed funds to close the annual shortfalls. Academic Affairs will no longer be able to cover the shortfall.
  • The position of the college remains that this allocation is inadequate.  The president has offered a generous one time $250,000 special allotment for next year and is initiating a study of an optimal strategy for moving forward after that period.
  • In addition, the president has authorized that the College open all sections—including those for sabbatical replacements, and the provost has authorized a comparable number of “augmented” sections compared to last year.
  • Still all assertions about next year’s budget are projections or hypotheticals, since we do not have next year’s official budget yet.  So no definitive claims can be made about the full impact of next year’s budget. Specifically, we will know the final status of lecturer hires when we know the full budget. With the new information above and other approvals from the provost and president’s office, we appear to be retaining for next fall most or all of our lecturer complement. Put another way, it is not accurate to say that there are layoffs,  40% of the college’s faculty will be lost, or 50% of its courses will be lost for next fall.
  • The budget figures that I have provided to faculty and their side-by-side comparisons have been derived from official university sources.  I have been informed though that the direct comparisons are not considered to be direct “apple to apple” comparisons, that is the data sources may not be comparable analytically.  I previously cautioned about overly relying on the extent data as definitive based on those corrective remarks.  The university is working on a more definitive analysis of what constitutes equitable allocations.
  • Most importantly, no one knows at this moment the definitive budget for next year, which keeps open the discussion for optimal solutions.

Fundamentally there are two overarching questions:

  1. Does the College of Ethnic Studies have adequate funding? 
    The answer to this must be no, because higher education, the CSU and SF State are not provided with adequate funding, and this answer should unify us to both advocate with the state to restore adequate funding to public higher education, and to be more active with a range of advancement efforts to diversify revenue streams in order to enrich the learning environment and to protect against the vicissitudes of state budgets.
  2. Whether adequate or not, are the resources at the university distributed equitably?
    The answer to this question is more complex and not immediately discernable, but worthy of asking and answering with appropriate on-going research. The president’s generous $250,000 allocation will assist the College, while the president’s cabinet, the College and the university’s shared governance system continue to evaluate this complex question.