Timely Updates: Budget, Parking and Stevenson Hall

Thursday, April 2, 2020 - 2:52pm

TO:    SSU Faculty and Staff
FR:    Lisa Vollendorf and Joyce Lopes
RE:    Timely Updates: Budget, Parking, and Stevenson Hall

Dear Campus Community,

We are thankful for everyone’s continued adaptivity and support as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic as a community. As you saw in President Sakaki’s message, we are all committed to working through this together.

We have received many inquiries this week about three major topics (budget, parking, and Stevenson Hall), and we are pleased to share updates on these today:

BUDGET: COVID-19 has plunged the world into a period of significant economic challenge. We know there are widespread concerns about the state budget and potential 2020-21 budget shortfalls. For now, we have no concrete information about what next year’s budget will hold, but we do anticipate that enrollments will drop and the state budget will not meet the needs of the CSU.

COVID-19 budgetary implications already are reverberating throughout our campus as we experience a decline in the residence hall population; process refunds for parking and dining services; cancel events; and pay essential on-site staff their well-earned emergency pay. We have prioritized health and safety and will continue to do so throughout this pandemic, but now is the time to analyze the potential budgetary impacts for the coming year.

Before COVID-19, we had been planning for a university-wide shortfall of 3%, but now we anticipate that a best-case scenario might leave us with a shortfall of double to triple that amount. Depending on the state budget and our fall enrollments, the shortfall may be even more severe. Our Budget Office now is developing a range of scenarios, which we will discuss with stakeholders (including the President’s Budget Advisory Committee and other groups) to ensure we are seeking input and communicating about what the fiscal future may hold for Sonoma State. 

PARKING: Many employees have asked about how to turn in parking permits. If you have a semester permit, please see the employee parking permit page. Parking Services has extended the deadline to discontinue payroll deduction. Just put your parking permit in the mail no later than April 5 and email parking@sonoma.edu to inform Parking Services that you have mailed the permit and that you intend to discontinue payroll deductions. Please remember that if you do not have a parking permit, you have to purchase a daily permit to park legally on campus. 

Stevenson Hall: While we anticipate that the Stevenson project will move forward, the most recent shelter-in-place order for Sonoma County has introduced new challenges to our planning. Until the new order was issued on March 31, 2020, we had tentatively planned on allowing faculty and staff to move out of Stevenson in May in a manner similar to how picked up essential items on campus the week after spring break. However, the new Shelter-in-Place Order and our own required Social Distancing Protocol are so restrictive that such a move-out plan is not possible. Unless the new order is eased or eliminated after its current expiration date of May 3, we will need to develop alternative plans for the move-out. We will be working closely with our leadership, planning team, the Stevenson Hall Taskforce, and other stakeholders to develop some alternative scenarios. We will keep you updated as we have new information to share. 

Thank you for continuing to prioritize your own health by abiding by the shelter-in-place order and complying with all recommended COVID-19 behaviors. 

We are grateful to you for helping SSU continue to adapt in these challenging times.