October 5, 2011
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CSU stares down $100 million in cuts, requests budget increase
Leo Postovoit, Spartan DailySJSU and the California State University are bracing for a potential $100 million cut in December, in what would be the third decrease in funding in the CSU budget this year.
The “trigger” cut would be imposed by the governor’s office if the state of California does not collect the tax revenue that has been forecast by the Legislature, according to Liz Chapin, public affairs assistant for the CSU Chancellor’s Office.
In response, the CSU Board of Trustees outlined a budget request proposal asking for $315 million in funding for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
“Looking ahead into the next year, it’s clear that we have an uphill battle,” said Robert Turnage, assistant vice chancellor for budget. “The state is not out of the woods as far as their fiscal problems, we understand that, but the Board of Trustees believes that even so, we need to make the case for what it is the university needs.”
In January of this year, Gov. Jerry Brown presented a budget that cut $500 million from the CSU and in June passed an additional $150 million in cuts.
According to Turnage, the last $150 million in cuts directly prompted the 12 percent tuition fee increase passed in July by the CSU Board of Trustees.
According to the minutes from the Sept. 21 meeting of the CSU Committee on Finance, without additional revenues, managing such a cut would have required the elimination of 2,300 employee positions, or denying access to 40,000 students, or completely shutting down several of the smaller campuses.
“We had to act fast,” he said. “We couldn’t have waited. It was very little notice to students as it was. The real trade off was it was either raise the fees or begin laying people off and start cutting teachers.”
It was left to each campus to make cuts to their individual budgets. The Chancellor’s Office had to lay some people off and reorganize to accommodate a 14 percent cut to its budget, Chapin said.
As a result of the initial $500 million cut that was made in January of this year, SJSU cut about $14.8 million from its budget, according to Shawn Bibb, vice president of administration and finance and chief financial officer for SJSU.
“However, what is never stated in the papers in the budget process is that not only are we taking budget cuts, but we are not receiving funds to cover mandated increased costs,” he stated in an email. “For SJSU those increased costs include $4.2 million for increased benefits costs and $8.2 million in increased financial aid as a result of the fee increase. So, the cumulative effect was about $27.2 million.”
During the 2010-2011 budget year, the state added $15.5 million to SJSU’s budget that was designated to allow for the admission of additional students.
“Unfortunately, they gave us the money after our admission cycle was complete, or too late to admit more students,” Bibb stated. “Since we did not teach those additional students, we held that money in reserve anticipating what might occur in 2011-12. We used that $15.5 million to offset some of the $27.2 million.”
The remaining amount, about $12 million, was allocated across the five university divisions proportionally and each vice president is responsible for creating their own plan to deal with their division, Bibb stated.
If the “trigger” cut is approved, SJSU is projected to take another $7 million in cuts.
According to Bibb, the university factored this into the 2011-2012 budget process.
“We have had to take other resources available to the university and set them aside to cover the cut,” he stated. “The effect is that we will not be able to do some of the projects we had hoped to do.”
Some of those projects include a number of building maintenance projects that were deferred until next year. Several information technology projects to bring services online and the addition of more smart classrooms have been deferred until 2012-2013, Bibb stated.
If the state approves the $315 million CSU budget request, Bibb stated that we don’t exactly know what SJSU’s share would be, but he estimates at least $16 million in funds could be added.
Elizabeth Cara, president of the SJSU chapter of the California Faculty Association, said it’s about time that the CSU advocated for an increase in funds from the state.
“CFA has always been an advocate for funding for the CSU, so we think it’s about time that they put in an increase,” said Cara, an associate professor of occupational therapy.
According to Turnage, the state’s budgetary support for the CSU has declined by 28 percent over the last 13 years.
At SJSU, Bibb stated that the university is seeking outside sources of funding, including the $200 million Acceleration campaign and a push from the Research Foundation for increasing the number of grants and contracts.
Ultimately, Turnage said, if students want the funding situation to change they need to speak up.
“In order for us to be successful requesters, one of the things is that more students and more parents need to get engaged in terms of communicating to their members of Legislature and the governor, that the CSU matters to them and that the state needs to make it a priority,” he said. “Ultimately, that is the sort of thing that moves the politicians to act. They need to hear from the grassroots that higher education needs to be funded for the sake of the state’s future.”
Ted Rudow III, MA ·
They know that a few soup lines, and lying promises won't be enough to hold back a Revolution in the event of a recession (which would be inevitable if the war ceased). They are also aware that their present policy of feeding the youth of the Nation into the war machine. So Big Business continues to produce war toys, well-lubricated with the blood of human sacrifices, as usual. But, the sacrifices are now coming from another nation to take the heat off back here. The atrocious effects of the death triangle (War, Business, Politics) cannot be stopped by ordinary revolutionary activity. the power of the death triangle is of spiritual origin.
Composed by Paul Michael
I hear them yelling"Peace and safety" Telling me everything's gonna be alright. But they just took my eighteen year old brother. They're teaching him how to kill and to fight
I see the smoke rising up from the fire, it's our heads that you see In the noose, oh Lord somebody warn the people that the war horse is on the loose.
Chorus: Another young man dead,but who gives a damn those generals on Wall Street got control of our land
Lift up your voices, and shout out the warning to them!
Ted Rudow III, MA
Class of 1996