Blaise Pascal, PenseĆ© 347: “Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed. The entire universe need not arm itself to crush him. A vapor, a drop of water suffices to kill him. But, if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because he knows that he dies and the advantage which the universe has over him; the universe knows nothing of this. All our dignity consists, then, in thought. By it we must elevate ourselves, and not by space and time which we cannot fill. Let us endeavor, then, to think well; this is the principle of morality.”

Friday, February 24, 2012

Budget Question of the Day: Why Did Fresno State Have a $65 Million Carry-Forward Last Year?

Budget books going back to the 2006 to 2007 academic year show carry-forwards for Fresno State that have now reached $65 million or more. Carry-forwards represent money, for the university as a whole, not spent, but passed through to the next academic year. The figures I present below are taken from the General Fund Expenditure Budget Summary charts in the indicated budget books.

If you want to check my numbers, the pdf's for all of the budget books for the 21st century can be found at this link:

Budget Books

Here are the carry-forward figures and the places where they can be found:

06-07: $28,834.038  See the 2007-08 Budget Book, p. 13.

07-08: $30,920,037 See the 2008-09 Budget Book, p. 13.

08-09: $27,314,040 See the 2009-10 Budget Book, p. 13

For the next two entries, no page numbers are available. Look under title "Expenditure Budget Summary" in the referenced Budget Books.

09-10: $44,035,938 See the 2010-11 Budget Book.

10-11: $65,806,057 See the 2011-12 Budget Book.

The administration deserves a round of faculty applause for this immense achievement. In a year of dire budget emergency, we managed to save $65 million, and pass it on to this year! As Senator Phogbound from L'il Abner would say: "Show yo 'preciation!" We didn't do nearly this well before the market crash, and that makes the achievement even more spectacular.

We can only hope that in the future Fresno State, under the far-sighted guidance of President Welty and Provost Covino, will do even better in expanding the carry-forward. I believe that with even more aggressive enrollment management (as per the  Budget Task Force recommendation); average class sizes of 100 students maxing out at, say, 400 or 500; and tuition doubled or tripled, we could carry-forward $100 million--or maybe a lot more--to the next year.

Meanwhile, its up to the faculty to join this crusade. Let's all pitch in, make suggestions about where to cut and keep working on SOAP with no release time.

Fresno State, like the USA, is in the very best of hands:

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