By Emily Amparan
Assistant News Editor
An update on the status of the 2016-2017 budget and conversations for the budget of the 2017-2018 school year were the main points of discussion at the annual budget meeting Thursday, Feb. 23.
After a brief introduction from CSU Bakersfield President Horace Mitchell, Vice President of Business and Administrative Services Thom Davis stepped forward to describe the source of the funds for this school year and the use of those funds.
Initially, the gross operating budget that was funded to CSUB was about $116 million.
This was to be divided between appropriations, including retirement, health care and enrollment growth, as well as fees around campus, such as tuition, Health Center fees and course fees.
The funds provided by the California Board of Trustees were distributed among the cabinet offices at CSUB and since the previous year’s fund changes had been made so much was given to each department.
“Our priorities went to Academic Affairs and Business and Technology,” said Davis
Since last academic year, the academic affairs department increased from 42.4 percent to 42.94 percent this year, whereas Business and Technology departments combined to bring it from 14.6 percent funding to 15.08 percent.
While the budget was split strategically among all the departments, there still remained aspects that each felt were unmet priorities.
The Students with Disabilities program and the Counseling Center were a few things that were brought forward by Vice President of Student Affairs Thomas Wallace.
Mitchell brought to light three priorities for the next budgeted year to come.
Number one being student employment.
According to Mitchell, funding has been allocated to all cabinets to hire students in order for them to be more active on campus. He said with students working on campus, this will give them the opportunity to join in study groups and attend office hours without the need of being rushed for work off campus.
The second priority is for faculty and staff development, which is a practice that was discontinued but will be brought back.
Along the lines of faculty and staff, another priority for CSUB is to move temporary funded positions to permanently funded positions as well as adding tenure-track faculty.
Lastly, the classroom and laboratory refreshment and renovations are to be brought forward. For instance, Dorothy Donahoe Hall will be receiving some of these repairs.
“We’re doing technology refreshers on campus,” said Mitchell. “We want our classrooms to be smart classrooms.”
All of this will become possible if the requested budget by the Board of Trustees is met from the state of California. Which at this point, only the compensation for current contract and a portion of mandatory fees will be met. Leaving out the Graduation Initiative 2025, compensation for new contracts, enrollment growth and academic facilities and infrastructures.
While the final decision on the budget will not be decided until March by the Board of Trustees and June by the California Legislature, this still leaves much for both faculty and students to be worried about.
Though with all of these cuts in CSUB’s funds, students will not have to be concerned with any current or future building projects being defunded.
According to Mitchell, there is a separate budget provided for just that and those projects are automatically a priority for the Board of Trustees.
All information that was brought forth and more can be found at csub.edu under the Quick Link titled Budget Central.