California Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed a transformational investment in support of Humboldt State University’s efforts to become the state’s third polytechnic university.
In his May Budget Revise, released today, Gov. Newsom included significant new funding for the effort. It will now go to the Legislature for consideration, along with the other proposed updates and modifications to his original budget. The CSU Board of Trustees will review the proposal at a future meeting.
Combining all budget proposals from January through May, Gov. Newsom has proposed an increase of $514.9 million in recurring funding that will substantially align with the funding priorities expressed in the CSU Board of Trustees’ budget request for 2021-22. Additionally, the Governor’s proposals would provide a one-time allocation of $325 million, of which $150 million is federal funds, for critical infrastructure, maintenance, and renovation projects.
Governor Newsom also proposed an additional allocation of $433 million in one-time investment and $25 million ongoing funds to advance the transition of Humboldt State University into the state’s third polytechnic university. And he proposed $25 million for the construction of a national Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) “Equity Innovation Hub” to innovate education pathways to inspire belonging in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at CSU Northridge.
The Governor’s proposal would support HSU’s conversion to a polytechnic by funding new academic programs, additional support for students including housing and basic needs, new facilities, technology throughout the curriculum, and expanded broadband. Funding will also help HSU maintain and strengthen its focus on inclusive educational access and success as it works to eliminate equity gaps and raise graduation rates as part of the CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025.
Demand throughout California is very strong for the programs and hands-on experiences offered by polytechnic schools. The two other polytechnic universities in the CSU—at San Luis Obispo and Pomona—are beyond capacity, and a third polytechnic will improve opportunities for students seeking majors in these areas. Humboldt State’s plans for becoming a polytechnic build on its strong foundation in the liberal arts and long-standing commitment to sustainability and social justice, and will infuse traditional ecological knowledge, renewable energy, and more.
HSU President Tom Jackson, Jr. said: “We are deeply grateful to Governor Newsom for seeing the potential in our polytechnic efforts, and for all the support of our planning efforts from CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro and his team. The Governor’s proposal opens amazing new opportunities for the students, many of whom are the first in their family to attend college. We are in a position to help meet the needs in the North Coast region and California for a diverse, highly educated workforce in science, technology, engineering, and math.”