October 26, 2020
  • 9:49 am Issue 3 of CSUDH Bulletin Live if You Want It
  • 3:24 pm Hispanic Heritage Month Update
  • 2:00 pm South Bay Economic Forecast Goes Virtual
  • 3:52 pm BREAKING NEWS: Classes for Spring to be Online, CSU Chancellor Announces
  • 9:39 am “Strikes” and Solidarity
  • 8:30 am March Into History: Just 5 in 1970, CSUDH Growth Shaped by Historic Event
  • 8:30 am Will the Bulletin Make Today Tomorrow?
  • 9:04 am Different Neighborhoods Warrant Rubber Bullets or Traffic Control For Protesters
  • 5:07 pm STAFF EDITORIAL: Even Socially Distant, We All Have to Work Together
  • 5:47 pm Transcript of CSUDH President Parham’s Coronavirus Announcement
  • 10:46 am Cal State Long Beach Suspends Face-to-Face Classes; CSUDH Discussing Contingency Plans
  • 5:26 pm Things Black People Should be Able to Get Away with This Month
  • 10:25 am Latinx Students Need a Place to Call Home
  • 2:35 pm Will Time Run Out Before Funds for PEGS? [UPDATED]
  • 5:18 pm Greatness Personified: Remembering Kobe Bryant
  • 8:41 am Year of the Rat? What’s That?
  • 6:20 am Artist Who Gave Life to Death and Inspired Countless Others Gets His Due at Dominguez Hills
  • 5:16 pm Why I’m Rooting for Dr. Cornel West
  • 5:00 pm Under Fire from the Feds, Vaping’s Future is Cloudy
  • 3:28 pm We’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat; Tsunami 3.0 Hits Campus, Enrollment Swells
  • 4:48 pm University Weathering a Wave of New Students
  • 9:21 pm The Bulletin’s Public Records Request Offers Springboard to Launch Gender Equity Discussion at CSUDH
  • 4:27 pm Black is the New Black: Raising the Capital on the “B” Word
  • 10:53 am Guns Up for Arrest: Student advocacy group pushes for CSU No Gun Zones–Including the Police
  • 4:09 pm Staff Editorial: Words on the First
  • 8:42 pm Carson Mayor Blasts Media, Landmark Libel Case in Keynote Address
  • 9:27 am Free Speech Week Calendar of Events Update
  • 6:02 am Food for Thought: 40% of Students are Food Insecure
  • 3:12 pm Academic Senate Rejects CSU GE Task Force & Report
  • 3:06 pm Work To Be Done
  • 5:56 pm ASI Elections: What You Need to Know
  • 8:02 pm CSUDH President Parham Announces Cancer Diagnosis
  • 9:47 am CSUDH Art Professor’s 20-Year Journey Results in First Local Showing of Film
  • 9:13 pm Free Speech or Free Hate area?
  • 9:08 pm CSUDH’s Best & Brightest Shine at Student Research Day
  • 9:05 pm Academic Senate Approves Gender Equity Task Force
  • 12:37 pm When Dr. Davis speaks, Toros Pay Close Attention
  • 3:38 pm Investing in the Future: Dr. Thomas A. Parham Reflects on the Past Eight Months and Contemplates​ the University’s Future
  • 3:24 pm Green Olive to Open By End of Feb; Starbucks Not Until Fall
  • 3:20 pm Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Budget Hailed for Extensive Funding Increases
  • 3:08 pm Out of the Classroom: Labor and Community Organizing Course Aims to Teach Students How to Organize for Social Justice
  • 2:54 pm The Other Route in Professional Sports
  • 9:02 am Hail to the New Chief, CSUDH President Thomas Parham
  • 3:36 pm Career Center Holds Major/Minor Fair
  • 5:34 pm After Unexpected Delay, Undocumented Becomes More Intimate Theatrical Production
  • 1:30 pm What to Expect When You’re Expecting New Buildings
  • 8:00 am The Lightning Rod: Jaguars-Chargers Preview
  • 8:00 am Expressing Silent Voices in the Land of Opportunity
  • 8:00 am 5 Phones that Won’t Break the Bank
  • 8:00 am A Promise Made, A Promise Kept: Lakers Provide City A Much Needed Feeling Of Sanguine
  • 11:32 am The Road Back Home
Story tips, concerns, questions?

CSUDH is among the 23 CSU campuses that must decide on its own how to cut costs as CSU funds are reduced b $299 million. Photo by Iracema Navarro.

By Brenda Fernanda Verano, News Editor

Additional reporting by Carina Noyola, Staff Reporter

Of the approximately 400 faculty members and staff eligible to take a retirement program offered by the university in hopes of staving off layoffs, only nine signed up before the Oct. 2 deadline.

The Early Exit Program (EEP) is one of the strategies the university is implementing to help offset a projected deficit of nearly $4.6  million to its base, or permanent, budget. 

That deficit is a result of COVID-19-related impacts on the state budget, which faces a $54 billion deficit in the 2020-21 fiscal year, which began July 1.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a revised budget on June 30 that reduced CSU funds by $299 million. Those cuts were divided up among the 23 CSU campuses, and CSUDHs’ portion was approximately $7.5 million.

But according to a presentation part of a campus budget update webinar in August, an additional $2.4 million in mandatory costs spikes that figure to nearly $10 million. Through a series of cost-cutting measures, including stripping the university’s travel budget and identifying vacant positions that will not be filled, the university saved about $5.3 million, but that still leaves a nearly $4.6 million hole.

Since employee salaries and benefits account for about 75 percent of campus expenditures, that is where a substantial part of that money will come from.

“When we’re talking about finding those budget cuts, especially to the turn of $4.5 million, we can’t just be looking at operating expenses or sort of trimming around the margins,” Katie Robinson the CSUDH budget director said in an EEP information session held over Zoom Sept. 30. “We really need to start discussing [employee] compensation.”

The EEP program, which was announced Sept. 1 and closed enrollment on Oct. 2, offered a three-month severance package to employees. To be eligible, employees must have 10 years accrued in CalPers, the state’s public employees retirement system.

The goal of the program was to entice enough eligible faculty and staff to join in hopes to “mitigate layoffs as much as possible by…incentivizing those employees who feel it would be an appropriate move for them,” Porter said Aug. 30.

If no further action were taken to reduce the $4.5 deficit, the university would incur about $375,000 a month in non-funded expenses, she added.

“Bottom line for us is if we don’t get broad participation within [EEP]…we will definitely go to a layoff option,” Deborah Wallace, the vice president of Administration and Finance said in the Aug. 30 session.

The nine employees out of the approximately 400 eligible employees was a “number lower than anticipated,” according to an email sent to the Bulletin by Karine Shirninian, associate vice president of Human Resources Management. 

The low number may have been affected by the amount of the severance package. Some CSU’s were offering a six-month severance package, Porter said Aug. 30, but CSUDH is underfunded by the CSU due to the system’s funding mechanism, which allocates money per full-time equivalent students. What that means, she said, is that schools with more part-time students don’t get as much money from the CSU.

She explained that CSUDH receives about $9,000 per FTE student, while Humboldt State receives $10,000 and the Channel Islands campus receives $11,000.

That puts those campuses in a different budget position than CSUDH, Porter said, in that they “don’t have to use every single dollar of every year, so they can build up their reserves in anticipation of economic downfalls.”

CSUDH doesn’t have that luxury, and because much of its $5 million in reserves is earmarked for other projects it is unable to use all those reserves to cover its deficit, or to offer a more attractive severance package.

Daryl Evans is a business adviser and retention analyst in the College of Business, and chief steward of the Academic Professionals of California (APC), one of seven employee unions on campus, which represents academic and financial aid advisers, and admissions evaluators. He said the approximately 150 APC members on this campus aren’t necessarily “fearful” of any impending layoffs. 

“Enrollment continues to be strong and when you are hands-on with the students [we offer] that is a necessary service,” he said.

Evans said last week that he wouldn’t recommend the EEP to anyone other than employees who were on the verge of retirement due to the three-month only severance package. 

“Some of the schools were talking a six-month severance package and a minimum of $36,000,” Evans said. “I don’t like [CSUDH’s] agreement at all but [the university] is not in a position to offer a really good incentive for people to leave. All that money has to come from somewhere, a bank account more of less, and we don’t just have it.” 

Each of the 23 CSU campuses must decide on its own how to cut costs. And those colleges with more reserves can dip into them to offset their deficits. 

CSUDH’s $5 million reserve, while higher than some CSUs, such as Sonoma State’s reported $2.2 million, is dwarfed by schools like San Francisco State, which is spending nearly $8 million of its reserves to offset its deficit, roughly 35 percent of its total reserves.

Even with that expenditure, 131 of San Francisco State’s staff employees were notified last month that they will be laid off Nov. 9. 

Vice President Wallace said in last week’s informational session that if layoffs do come to CSUDH, first employees would be laid off for lack of work, and then lack of funds. 

The APC’s contract calls for less senior employees to be laid off first. Evans said that while he cannot speak for any of the other unions on campus, he “suspects” their contracts are similar. 

According to Vice Provost, Ken O’Donnell, the Division of Academic Affairs  is working to minimize the potential impact that budget cuts may have on class sizes, acceptance rates, and the amount of classes that will be available to students. 

“The provost has directed deans to prioritize class availability for students, even when that means making deeper cuts in other areas, he said. 

Additionally, O’Donnell said,  cuts in staff will not affect admissions. 

“We will continue to accept all eligible students who apply for admission,” he said.



Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: