The board voted 11-3 on Wednesday a day after a finance committee approved the plan.
If Proposition 30 passes, CSU and UC campuses will receive $125 million from the state, and CSU trustees will rescind a 9-percent tuition increase that took effect this fall.
The contingency plan includes a 5-percent tuition hike -- or $150 a semester -- in January to offset a $250 million budget cut should voters not pass Proposition 30, a state sales tax hike. According to the trustees, the move would raise nearly $60 million for the rest of the 2012-2013 term.
Controversy is already brewing over letters that CSU will send out to all applicants encouraging them to vote for Proposition 30. The letter mentions that if the proposed state sales tax hike passes, students will have a better chance of getting in to the school of their choice. The letter also explains that should Proposition 30 not pass, the $250 million cut to the CSU system would take effect.
CSU officials deny any political motivations behind the letter and say they are just trying to level with students about realities of the CSU system at the moment.
The letter is expected to be emailed out to applicants next month. The letter also contains links to arguments for and against Proposition 30.