Raised fees and increased fundraising to accommodate higher enrollment were the central issues presented at the first meeting of the Academic Senate Monday afternoon.
Cal Poly President Warren Baker has announced an overall fundraising goal of $1 billion. The president’s office referred to the official close of Cal Poly’s Centennial Campaign and will move to the next phase of its fundraising effort.
“The main point is that our sights are high,” Senate Provost Robert Detweiller said. “We have to be ambitious to sustain the quality at Cal Poly.”
Detweiller spoke extensively about grants, student fees, donations and state assistance in regards to the budget strategy for Cal Poly. For the current year, Detweiller specified a $40 million fundraising goal.
“If we rely solely on the state, we will have a second-rate institution,” Detweiller said.
A student fee referendum is scheduled for February 2006. Students will vote on a $10 increase in quarterly student fees to support clubs, performing arts, ASI and the expansion of the Rec Center and University Union services. Detweiller said 5,000 students will be affected by the new fees. The expansion of services could not be supported without the increase, he said.
The accumulation of student fees outweighs the lack of state support for these additional students, Detweiller said.
A strategy is also in place to increase summer quarter enrollment to 25 percent of the regular academic year enrollment. Another plan to increase graduate enrollment and graduate programs to accommodate them has been implemented.
“We have one of the lowest graduate numbers in the CSU system,” Detweiller said.
Detweiller explained the need for an increase in grants and outside funding for the graduate program expansion. He remarked on the 20 percent increase in grant applications this year. The goal is to increase this number by 20 percent every year, Detweiller said.
Projects on the horizon
Poly Canyon Village, a $300 million student housing project, is expected to become operational partly in 2008 and 2009. Bella Montana, a faculty/staff housing project, is expected to become operational during the 2006-07 school year.
The Science Center, a $100 million project, was given highest priority by Detweiller. He said he hopes to raise $10 million this year.
The library expansion project, which will also make room for additional classrooms for the expansion in enrollment, is in need of state support. A Cal Poly technology park, a $800 million project, will be built using non-state funds.
Due to enrollment growth and faculty retirements, Cal Poly needs more tenured faculty, Detweiler said. Cal Poly hired 50 new tenure track faculty this year. The university should not have fewer than 75 percent tenure faculty.
What’s in a name?
One of the most disputed issues at Monday’s meeting concerned the name change of the College of Agriculture to the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.
Some deans did not believe the inclusion to be appropriate because environmental classes are already included in other curriculums and majors.
No decision was made whether or not to support Dean of Agriculture Dave Wehner’s request. A second reading of the proposal will take place at a later time.