Academic Affairs receives $4.9 million boost

Matthew Malone

Sacramento State president Alexander Gonzalez allocated in July $4.9 million in new funding for the university, sending the vast majority of it to Academic Affairs.

The university funding increase comes from the 2014-15 California budget, which raised CSU funds by $142.2 million. The CSU Board of Trustees had requested $95 million more.

Gov. Jerry Brown considers the raise in funding a part of his four-year commitment to increase CSU and UC funding, according to H.D. Palmer, the executive director for external affairs at the California Department of Finance.

The university budget includes $3.5 million in new baseline funding for Academic Affairs, the largest administrative unit at Sac State. The division encompasses the seven academic colleges, the library and the College of Continuing Education.

Other Sac State divisions include Information Resources and Technology, Human Resources, and Planning, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, or Student Affairs

The president’s baseline allocations largely conformed to the May recommendations of the University Budget Advisory Committee, which councils the president on budgeting decisions.

The committee recommended funds be increased in tiers of 5 percent, 4 percent and 3 percent. Academic Affairs was placed in the 4 percent tier. 

UBAC proposed the increase for Academic Affairs to further the CSU’s Graduation Initiative, meant to increase graduation rates, improve advising and reduce bottleneck courses.

“Academic Affairs and [Student Affairs] are student centric and are closely aligned with these initiatives,” UBAC said in its report.

Stacy Hayano, the associate vice president of Business Planning and Administration and a permanent member of UBAC, said the committee’s recommendations were developed after meetings with each of the division heads.

Hayano said the increases for Academic Affairs were given to accommodate a larger number of students and provide more money for classes.

Sac State this year had a record first-time freshman enrollment of 3,000 students.

Provost Frederika “Fraka” Harmsen said, in an email, the increased budget would also be used for increased personnel costs, including 50 new tenure-track faculty members.

“Students will have more faculty, more course sections, upgraded laboratory class space, and additional laboratory equipment to support faculty and student scholarships,” Harmsen said.