The Fiscal and Demographic Environment of the California State University at Northridge

by Stephen J. Carroll, Dominic J. Brewer, Dana Soloff, Debra A. Strong

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The California State University at Northridge (CSUN) is engaged in a strategic planning process to develop coherent, coordinated responses to future challenges. This report provides information to those involved in the planning process to help them decide whether CSUN's current policies and programs are consistent with the forces that will bear on its long-term future. Focusing on the fiscal and demographic trends and the political context affecting the institution's future, the researchers conclude that CSUN, along with the rest of the state's higher education system, faces an unsettling fiscal future. However, whereas the CSU system as a whole faces an increased demand for enrollment, CSUN must contend with fiscal constraints in the face of decreased demand. Nothing in the foreseeable future offers hope of a fiscal turnaround; in this context, pressures will be high for all the state's higher-education institutions to do more with less. The environmental analysis of this report is intended to help CSUN's strategic planners by establishing common assumptions to guide their deliberations. The research for this report was conducted for the RAND Institute on Education and Training (IET) and is part of the IET's Higher Education for the 21st Century series. The report should be of interest to policymakers concerned about higher education's overall long-term fiscal future.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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