Chancellor Responds to Budget Cuts in Teleconference
After meeting with the Board of Trustees of The California State Colleges, Chancellor Charles Reed responded to students' concerns over the proposed budget cuts
February 5, 2004 1:55 PM
Due to possible budget cuts, the California State University system will immediately begin the process of reducing enrollment by turning away an estimated 20,000 students from its campuses in the upcoming fall semester.
This five percent enrollment reduction will save the CSU system approximately $100 million; a far cry from compensating for the $771 million the CSU system will have lost over the last three years if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s budget proposal gets approval from the legislature.
“The budget cuts over the next two years are so big,” said Chancellor Charles Reed in a teleconference with CSU student journalists Wednesday, Jan. 28, "we can no longer continue to serve as many students as we do now.”
Reed tried to remain optimistic about the enrollment reduction by stating that two percent of the five percent of students turned away from the CSU system will be able to attend a community college and are guaranteed future placement at a CSU campus once all transfer requirements are met.
However, Reed remained unsure about the fate of the three percent of students who would be turned away and not eligible for placement at a community college, such as graduate students. When pressed about the future of these students, Reed replied, “I can’t answer that right now.”
In addition to reducing enrollment, Schwarzenegger has proposed the elimination of funding for EOP and outreach programs, something that the chancellor vehemently opposes.
“We disagree with this change and we can prove that those students who participate in these programs have a 30 percent graduation rate,” he said.
Reed has promised to work directly with the governor’s office to ensure these programs remained unscathed.
Reed does agree however, with most of the governor's other points of the budget proposal, such as the proposed increase in student fees.
Under the governor’s proposed plan, undergraduate fees would increase by 10 percent, graduate fees by 40 percent, and non-resident fees by 20 percent.
“We agree with the governor’s proposed fee policy and feel he has created a more stable policy.”
However, Reed's endorsement included some reservations, particularly concerning the graduate fee increase. He stated that many graduate students in the CSU system are studying to become teachers, so the increase would have negative long-term effects on California’s educational system.
Since the governor’s proposed budget for the 2004-2005 fiscal year was released, Reed has been in continuous talks with a variety of CSU-related groups in an attempt to find creative ways around the possible cuts. “This is the budget picture and it is not a pretty picture,” he said.
Reed ended the teleconference by urging students to vote yes on Propositon 55, which would provide funding for K-12 and higher education facility needs, and reminding them to apply for Cal Grants by the March 2 deadline.
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