Wednesday, March 23, 2011

CSU Facing Worst Fiscal Crisis Ever

California Gov. Brown’s interim state budget cuts $500 million from the California State University (CSU) system (25% of their entire budget). According to the San Francisco Chronicle, this will result in 10,000 students being turned away, and countless layoffs at the university's 23 campuses. "We're facing the worst financial situation the CSU has ever had," said Trustee Bill Hauck, chairman of the university system's finance committee (quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle).

If Brown’s tax extensions fail to make the June ballot or fail to pass, the cuts could double, according to CSU Chancellor Charles Reed. This would result in a loss of $1 billion from a total operating budget of $2 billion. They have already approved a tuition increase of 15.5% for next fall which should save the school $100 million. The rest of the deficit will be made up through payroll reductions (i.e., layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts). According to the Chron., CSU has already cut 4,145 faculty and staff positions since 2008. CSU professors also earn far less than colleagues at other universities across the country.

CSU plans to save an addition $60 million by cutting off 10,000 qualified applicants from enrolling at CSU. Thus, not only will thousands be denied access to college, but those who do get in will be have to compete for fewer classes and support services and more stressed out and frustrated teachers, while spending more money and time just to complete their required classes.

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