California State University System Plans for Budget Cuts

CSU trustees meet to decide how to adapt to losing 25% of its $2 billion allocation.

Economic reality continues its grim march through California as budget woes in Sacramento are forcing California State University campus to turn away students and lay off faculty. CSU University trustees announced on Tuesday that CSU is “facing the worst financial situation [it’s] ever had,” the San Fransisco Chronicle reports.

Saddled with huge shortfalls, the state is seeking drastic cuts to balance the budget, and under the current plan, CSU stands to lose a quarter of its $2 billion allocation. It could lose as much as half, however, if the tax extensions proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown and due to be put on the ballot in June are rejected by the voters. CSU Chancellor Charles Reed sounded a warning that this is something that will have dire future consequences for the state as a whole.

“A cut of $1 billion in state support would have devastating effects on the CSU, including a long-lasting impact that would damage the state economy.”

Schools are scrambling for ways to fill the gaps. The board has already secured approval for a 15.5% tuition hike starting next fall but they are also looking at cutting enrollment by 10,000 and lowering payroll costs via layoffs and attrition of personnel.

“Our campus has been exploring cost-saving options for more than a year now and will implement a series of measures that will allow us to operate within this austere budget,” spokeswoman Ellen Griffin said, but provided no specifics.

In addition to the budget situation, the trustee meeting held in Long Beach also looked at the recent report comparing the pay of CSU faculty and administrators compare to the pay of faculty and administrators from 20 other public universities. The report found that although CSU salaries are generally lower than that of their peers at other schools, their benefits are higher.

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March 25th, 2011

Staff Reporter

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