Under the proposal, about $13 million would be used to hire more than 500 full-time faculty members, enabling campuses to increase the number of classes in highly sought subjects such as English, algebra, geography and biology. An additional $8 million would pay for 70 new academic advisors, a crucial component in the system’s push to have students meet graduation requirements more quickly.
“These are areas that took a big hit when we went into recession and we haven’t been able to replenish,” Cal State system spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp said.
The Board of Trustees is scheduled to act on the budget plan when it convenes in Long Beach. Gov. Jerry Brown, a member of the board, is to attend the meeting, which will continue Wednesday.
The overall 2014-15 spending plan seeks an additional $237.6 million from the state, slightly less than the $250-million preliminary plan presented to the board in September.
“It’s slightly down, but we did feel it’s realistic based on the needs we have,” Uhlenkamp said.
But it is still more than the $142.2-million increase proposed by Brown under a multiyear funding plan for both Cal State and the University of California. That plan was formulated after the passage of Proposition 30, which raised taxes for education and other purposes.
Brown’s proposal calls for annual increases over a four-year period and assumes neither system will increase tuition during that time. The Legislature hasn’t adopted the governor’s entire plan, but it did approve the first-year increase of $125.1 million for 2013-14.
At the September meeting, Brown suggested that Cal State may have a hard time persuading lawmakers to approve its full request given the state’s still-shaky economy and competing demands.
“You can ask for more, but you have to understand that you’re not alone — a bunch of other people are also asking,” he said.