In an email to students on Friday, Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong announced the approval of the quarterly fee. On March 5, he submitted a fee proposal to CSU Chancellor Charles Reed. Reed sent the necessary documents to move forward with the fee to Armstrong’s office early Friday morning.
“He (the chancellor) complimented the campus on the wide discussions we had,” Armstrong said, “and the fact we did the referendum and the consultative process.”
The chancellor’s letter to Armstrong’s office called the Student Success Fee a, “commendable plan consistent with the CSU’s graduation initiative.”
The Student Success Fee, which will take effect this fall, will add $260 to Cal Poly tuition each quarter beginning in Fall 2014. It will be phased in over two years, beginning at $160 per quarter before increasing to $210 in Fall 2013.
Students approved the fee in an advisory vote to the president late last month: Of the 7,600 students who voted, 57 percent favored implementing the Student Success Fee.
Armstrong said he was supportive of the tuition increase before the vote, but his views were confirmed by the students’ support.
“If I thought it was fundamentally a bad idea, I wouldn’t have let all the discussion go on,” he said.
In his email, Armstrong called the students’ approval of the fee a, “statement of (students’) trust in Cal Poly.” He said he plans to keep students’ confidence by working to ensure the money brought in by the fee is targeted to areas that need funding most.
“What really hangs on me is the importance of trust,” he said. “I feel like we’ve earned the trust, and now I plan to keep it.”
In a vote conducted through the Cal Poly portal alongside the advisory referendum, students indicated their thoughts on where the Student Success Fee money should be spent. After the vote, the top priorities were access to classes and labs and additional focus on Learn By Doing programs.
Armstrong is currently working to establish a committee that will be in charge of spending the additional income the fee will bring in. Cal Poly spokesperson Chip Visci said no details have been finalized on the committee, but that at least one proposal has been submitted.
Armstrong said he has not yet reviewed the multiple recommendations for what the committee should look like that have come into his office. He said he could see the number of members of the committee, at least half of which will be students, totaling upward of 10 and possibly even more than 20.
The president will draw upon members of Associated Students, Inc. to select which students will serve on the committee.
“We want this committee to be like a biological organism: living,” he said.