CSU Budget Reallocation Update

Dear Cal State East Bay community,

I am writing today to share our plans for increasing our undergraduate enrollment, especially in light of California State University’s (CSU) intention to reallocate state funding. 

At last week’s Board of Trustees meeting, the CSU Chancellor’s Office announced a plan to reduce state funding to campuses whose enrollment gap is greater than 10 percent below their California resident undergraduate enrollment target. The System will reallocate those funds to campuses that have exceeded 10 percent above their target. You can read the entire plan here.

Cal State East Bay is among the campuses that could lose funding if we do not increase our undergraduate enrollment. We could be reduced by $6 million in state funding if we do not turn this around. We need to increase our undergraduate enrollment by roughly 2,100 to get us to 9% under target full-time equivalent students. Consider this an urgent call to action. 

I have developed a plan to increase enrollment, including the following tactics:

  • Convert our self-support summer program to state support
  • Design summer course offerings to support student degree progression.
  • Convert some current self-support Extension programs to state support
  • Develop 1-2 fully online bachelor’s degree programs in high-demand areas.
  • Proactively market existing stateside fully online undergraduate degree programs.
  • Develop a plan to recruit and serve more working professionals who need to complete their bachelor’s degrees.
  • Continue with our branding refresh initiative.

Some good news. We have completed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Holy Names University in Oakland. Holy Names will cease operation at the end of Spring 2023. Our MOU will enable their students to transfer smoothly to Cal State East Bay. We have extended our transfer application deadline to accommodate these students and plan a campus visit for them. Coaches are working to recruit HNU student-athletes.

We have received funding from the Chancellor’s Office to provide tuition waivers for some students to enroll in summer session courses and to support other existing GI2025 actions.

Many of you have specified student success actions as part of your contributions to our Future Directions strategic plan. In addition, a five-year strategic enrollment management plan is being finalized and will guide institutional efforts to deliver longer-term enrollment growth. 

For now, I have created an “Enrollment Gap Tiger Team.” This team will ensure these initiatives move forward expeditiously and will develop other ideas for increasing our undergraduate enrollment, including identifying policy changes or exceptions needed to enact necessary changes. Many thanks to Katie Avila, Rafael Hernandez, Balvinder Kumar, Angela Schneider, Mitch Watnik, and Fanny Yeung for agreeing to be part of this team. 

Additionally, our new Task Forces on College of Health Implementation, Scaling Career Services, and Working Professionals Recruitment and Service are designed to position us to attract and retain more students over time. Their work will continue.

I also want to remind us all that retention is enrollment. Every one of us, staff and faculty alike, can positively impact our students staying enrolled. Despite our best efforts, we remain a large bureaucratic, rule-based organization, still striving to reduce systemic racism — an organization that is difficult to navigate for many of our students. Anything we can do to reduce barriers, alleviate anxiety, create clarity, and show support will positively impact retention and enrollment.

In summary, I want to communicate three things. First, increasing our enrollment is an urgent matter we cannot ignore. Second, we have a plan and talented faculty and staff who can partner with me to address this challenge. Increasing enrollment is good for Cal State East Bay and for current and future students who will join us to earn their degrees. Lastly, our administration and campus will remain committed to systemic equity, diversity, and serving our local communities, as detailed in our strategic plan, Future Directions. 

Sincerely yours,

Cathy Sandeen



January 2, 2023