College Based Academic Fees

History and Purpose

In 2002, Cal Poly students passed the College Based Academic Fee (CBF) initiative, mandating an increase in tuition for the purpose of initiating and funding the College Based Fees program. Since then, the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) College Based Fees Committee has been dedicated to promoting student development and enhancing educational quality for students of the college. Each year, approximately 10 percent of the fees are allocated to the college to fund college-wide initiatives, while approximately 90 percent were passed through to each student’s respective department to fund department-level initiatives.

At the college level, a CAFES College Based Fee Committee worked with the Dean to determine how the funds were to be allocated. The committee consisted of a student chair, selected by the Dean, and one student representative from each department within CAFES. The committee met quarterly to review expenditure proposals.

Funding of college-level initiatives from 2002 through 2009 consisted of both permanent allocations (funding computer technicians) and one-time expenditures for items used by multiple departments. Starting in 2009, the base budget from state dollars allocated to CAFES declined significantly, reaching a low point in 2011 (a decrease of $3.2 million).  The CAFES’s College Based Fee committee recognized the need and agreed to allocate all CBF funds to keep essential functions going. This resulted in funds being directed for faculty and staff salaries.

Current Situation

As of 2014, base budgeting still hasn’t returned to previous levels, and is approximately $1.4 million less than the 2008 high (see chart below). As a result, CAFES’s CBF funds continue to be used to support faculty and staff positions to ultimately support student success. As this deficit declines it is anticipated that funding will be available for student-directed initiatives in the future.

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