Sac State president announces possible tuition increase

Mallory Fites

Sacramento State President Alexander Gonzalez today released an update with his stance on a proposed oil severance tax and the possibility of a tuition increase for next spring.

The update was spurred by his recent meeting in Long Beach with the California State University Board of Trustees.

Approval of Assembly Bill 1326 would provide a 12.5 percent oil and natural extraction severance tax to fund the University of California, CSU and community college systems.

Gonzalez said he and the trustees would support the bill only with amendments. These amendments include making sure an additional state bureaucracy is not created to distribute the funds, defining how much money is given to each system of public higher education. Also, the trustees want to make sure funding is not being replaced, but is instead added to the state General Fund.

As for the potential $1 billion cut in state support for the CSU system, Gonzalez said he is hoping it will only be $500 million, as proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown in January.

“There are no good options, only extreme choices,” said CSU Chancellor Charles Reed regarding the potential budget cut.

If $1 billion is cut, Gonzalez told students a 32 percent tuition fee increase for spring 2012 is a possibility.

“The possible fee increase is contingent because any tuition fee increase depends on whether the state imposes further budget cuts and the amount of those reductions,” Gonzalez said.

The fee increase would go on top of the already approved 10 percent fee increase from last November and this semester’s 5 percent fee increase.

If the fee increase is implemented, a full-time undergraduate student at Sac State would pay an additional $1,566 a year. This would make total yearly tuition $6,450.

The trustees will make a final decision on the fee increase in July.

Students applying to Sac State could also face admission wait lists for spring 2012. The CSU would still accept applications for the spring semester but no admission decisions would be made until a state budget is approved.

If this is the case, as many as 20,000 qualified applicants wanting to attend Sac State would be turned away.

Gonzalez also reported that student conduct proceedings initiated in relation to behavior during the sit-in are over and policy changes will be made.

Gonzalez said there is the need for a Sac State policy on faculty rights and responsibilities when delivering instruction to students.

Administration will examine current time, place and manner policies of protests and draft an internal protocol for demonstrations on campus. This draft will be reviewed by campus representatives, including the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, the University Staff Assembly, Associated Students, Inc. and Student Affairs.