Campus Auxiliaries Planning for Fiscal Stability

May 11, 2020


Recently I shared with you a path to fiscal stability during this time of hardship. It outlines some of the strategies that will be utilized by the different divisions to address an anticipated shortfall of $20 million in the next two years.

Much of that budget planning is related to HSU’s stateside budget. However, there are also many challenges and impacts for our campus auxiliaries, which provide important services and support. There are four 501(c)(3) auxiliary organizations at HSU: Associated Students, The University Center, Sponsored Programs Foundation, and HSU Foundation. Each is a non-profit.

These programs are facing difficult budgetary shortfalls, and will be implementing strategies to do their best to maintain services and employment as the pandemic continues to disrupt campus operations.

They are not alone in these challenges. The California State University Board of Trustees will meet next week to discuss $337 million in system-wide impact for the spring, with losses to campus auxiliaries making up $114 million of that total. 

Employees affected by HSU auxiliaries’ strategies have been notified of changes. 

Thank you, once again, for all you’re continuing to do for HSU students. 

Douglas Dawes

Vice President for Administration & Finance


HSU Auxiliary Programs and Budget Reductions


HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation has prioritized the physical health and safety of its auxiliary employees first, maintaining the capacity and readiness of the research and scholarly enterprise second, and leveraging financial resources in an appropriate way to maintain institutional and individual program capacity upon returning to more normalized operations. Upon receiving guidance from federal funding agencies, SPF quickly instituted emergency paid leave for all impacted employees, as allowed by the various funding agencies. The majority of HSU’s funded research projects can be continued safely in remote working environments, and every effort is being made to avoid job loss. At this time, it is too early to report the financial impact the current economic situation will have on future revenues.

HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation administers externally funded grants and contracts on behalf of Humboldt State University. It currently manages a portfolio of over 560 externally funded projects and provides fiscal stewardship of those funds for Federal, State, and local agencies. 


HSU Foundation

The Foundation was seeing strong charitable support through the beginning of the spring semester, but is now expecting an overall decline from the prior year. The endowment, which funds scholarships and programs through investment income, was about $33 million prior to the pandemic crisis. It had lost approximately 10 percent of its value as of the end of April. The Foundation has no employees and so is not in the position of having to reduce workforce.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Foundation has received significant donations in support of students. Recent appeals to raise funds to help students facing immediate challenges have raised more than $40,000. In addition, more than $1 million has been given for scholarships in the current fiscal year, which is on pace to be a record.

The Humboldt State University Foundation provides expertise, fiduciary oversight, and advocacy to increase charitable giving and manage the endowment and other charitable funds. 


University Center

Financial losses for the current fiscal year are projected to be severe, resulting from continuing employee obligations, shuttered operations, and the refunding of meal plans, event tickets, and classes. The anticipated loss to UC for the current fiscal year is approximately $1.6 million of a $13.5 million budget. 

UC is very dependent on student fees, and projections for Fall 2020 enrollment were already showing a reduction prior to COVID-19. Now the greater projected enrollment decline has led to a significant reduction in budget for 2020-21, impacting the ability to maintain personnel at the same level. The UC has reduced full time positions for next year by 11 out of a total of 47. This was achieved through three retirements and eight layoffs. In addition, most of the remaining staff is either being furloughed for various time periods or seeing reductions in time base.

The University Center manages a variety of programs that enhance student life on campus, including Center Arts, Center Activities, Dining Services, Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center, Student Recreation Center, and Recreation & Wellness Center.


Associated Students

Associated Students will be laying off one of its three staff members. Because of the anticipated decline in enrollment and associated fees that support Associated Students (A.S), A.S. has had to quickly reimagine how it will look next year. This will include a temporary reduction in many student employment positions for 2020-2021, although there are funds earmarked for student stipends. A.S. is changing significantly for a year and plans to use that time to reimagine what a robust student union could look like, including how to re-employ student leaders to manage those new or reimagined spaces. Stakeholders will be part of that process. 

The 2020-2021 A.S. budget will need to be reviewed after fall 2020 census to determine if additional budget adjustments are needed. Prior to COVID-19, the A.S. budget was not sustainable as too much was being used from reserves to bridge reduced revenue. 

Associated Students, HSU's Student Government, actively seeks institutional changes that serve to enhance the student environment. A.S. funds and administers student initiated and student led programs and services. 


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