LOS ANGELES -- The California State University system plans to spend the projected $125.1 million in extra state funding for the 2013-14 academic year to expand enrollment and online courses, boost employee salaries and pay for increased energy and health benefit costs, officials said Monday.
The board of trustees is set to discuss the administration's proposal today, said Assistant Vice Chancellor Robert Turnage during a conference call with the media.
The additional money marks the first increase in state funding for the 23-campus system, one of the nation's largest public higher education systems with 420,000 students, after five years of budget cuts that resulted in layoffs, reduced admissions and fee hikes.
The $125 million is slated as the first of five annual increases planned by Gov. Jerry Brown that will total $518 million by 2016-17.
Turnage said the biggest slice of the 2013-14 funding $48.2 million will cover increased costs for employee health benefits, gas and electricity, as well as the operating costs of labs and facilities opening next fall.
Officials plan to use $21.7 million to hire more instructors and student support staff to admit nearly 6,000 more students, $10 million to fund online classes to allow more students to enroll in high-demand, required courses and $7.2 million for incentives for campuses to develop ways to push more students to graduate on time.
About $38 million will pay for average 1.2 percent raises to employees with the exception of senior administrators, including campus presidents and vice presidents, and the system chancellor and vice chancellors, Turnage said.
At CSU, Stanislaus, in Turlock, a spokesman said it's not clear how much the campus may receive, but he hopes that students will benefit.
"We will be able to open our doors to more students and help them better progress toward graduation, while holding fees steady," said Dave Tonelli, associate vice president for communications and public affairs.
Bee staff writer Marijke Rowland contributed to this report. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2284. Follow her on www.twitter.com/turlocknow.