CSU budget cuts hurt us

Daniel Vasilchuk

The California State University system is struggling to rise above the deep abyss of its financial troubles.

With the new state government budget in place, the CSU must cut nearly $584 million of its expenditures. To deal with these cuts, CSU Chancellor Charles Reed has implemented various budget decisions that show more concern for himself than the faculty or the student body of the CSU system.

Firstly, all CSU campuses have had to close spring enrollment for incoming students in addition to lowering the number of applications accepted annually.

Students in community colleges who finish up in the fall will not be allowed to transfer into Sacramento State until the following fall.

In a world where time is money, these prospective new students will have to wait a year before joining the CSU system. Reed thinks this is an inevitable change because of the budget situation.

“If you reduce your budget expenditures by $584 million, we have to reduce the number of students that we are serving,” Reed said in a CSU Public Affairs video.

This means that prospective students with great academic records will be denied entry to Sac State.

Secondly, nearly 47,000 employees in the CSU system will have to take furloughs, mandated time off from work, in the coming fall and spring semesters.

The furloughed employees include staff, faculty members, students who work on campus and even administrators.

In addition, due to deep budget cuts, part-time faculty stands to lose jobs. This loss will leave students with fewer choices for classes.

Kevin Wehr, president of the Sac State Chapter of the California Faculty Association, said that faculty being furloughed and laid off will directly impact CSU students.

“[If the] faculty is working 10 percent less, [then] ten percent less is what students are going to get in terms of the quality of their education,” Wehr said.

On top of this, the student fees were raised 32 percent over the summer. This, combined with the furloughs, ultimately means that the students are paying more for their education and getting less.

But are the furloughs causing as much an inconvenience to the administrators as they are to the faculty and staff?

“Luxuries are what the executives are losing; staff are losing necessities and a roof over their head[s],” said Rachel Frame, library assistant at Sacramento State.

As of June 2009, Reed’s salary totaled over $400,000 a year, according to The Sacramento Bee’s state salary database. It is highly unlikely he will notice the 10 percent cut in his salary as a result of the furloughs. According to a Nov. 19, 2008 San Francisco Chronicle article, Reed approved large salary increases for nine vice presidents in that year.

The Bee’s salary database also indicates that across the CSU system,a total of 1,415 administrators are making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. At the very least, this means $140 million is going out of the budget just to pay for their salaries.

The salaries of these administrators amount to at least one-third of the current budget cuts, so it is obvious they are having a notable effect on precipitating the budget downfall.

What can you do as a student to voice your opinion on the situation? To start, there was a rally today at noon in the library quad. You can also call the CSU administrators directly to voice your discontent with their decisions.

Let the administration know that you are against decreasing the quality of education that the CSU system provides.

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