SPECIAL SERIES : SF State Budget Woes
$10.3 Million in Academic Cuts Announced
April 20, 2004 7:20 PM
SF State announced late Monday $10.3 million in academic cuts to ease a university shortfall of more than $20 million.
Five undergraduate and five graduate programs will be discontinued, according to a statement from the university. Several departments will be downsized or will limit enrollment. Tenure-track and tenured professors’ jobs are safe, but some may be moved to different departments.
This plan will be proposed to the Academic Senate, the faculty governing body, which must approve these cuts. But the buck stops with President Robert Corrigan who must approve the proposal, according to the California State University (CSU) Office of the Chancellor.
The process could take several months on top of the time the Academic Senate already has spent throwing around ideas of how to accommodate the university's $22 million shortfall. And more could be on the way with the governor’s May revise of the state budget. According to the chancellor’s office, $72 million more in cuts may hit the CSU system, which would cause more cuts and possible fee hikes.
"The grim task of identifying that magnitude of budget cuts with the resulting loss of services that can be provided to our students is agonizing," said John Gemello, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, in a press release. "In making these difficult decisions, the deans have made every effort possible to preserve academic programs."
General Education programs within the College of Health and Human Services and the College of Humanities will be downsized, according to the proposal. And the growth of the School of Engineering undergraduate programs will be limited to its current degree programs and size.
These undergraduate programs are slated for elimination. Click on links to read department reactions:
These graduate programs also are proposed to be discontinued. Click on links to read department reactions:
These programs are proposed to move to self-support:
In a March 3 town hall meeting on the budget, Corrigan said the university could not keep making broad cuts across the board without causing the university to be mediocre. Everyone, he said, would have to decide where to make “a few cuts that are deep, narrow and focused.”
According to the Academic Senate discontinuance policy, three factors are considered: importance of the institution, quality of the program and demand for the program.
The budget has been discussed by the Academic Senate for the past six weeks, according to members. Academic Senate member Caran Colvin, of the psychology department, said two-thirds of the faculty governing body’s time has been dedicated to discussing this subject.
“It is important from here out that all faculty are completely aware of what is going on. The process is open and transparent, so we can make the right decisions,” Colvin said.
In 16 years at SF State, Colvin said she has not seen budget cuts of this magnitude since the early 1990s. The cuts will affect the number of students admitted to SF State and the amount of classes offered to these students, Colvin said.
“People are very concerned about students and how students will be effected,” Colvin said.
Academic Senate member Deborah Gerson calls the budget cuts “tragic” and does not envy anyone who has to make the crucial decisions in the “horrendous” process.
Many lecturers will be greatly affected by the budget cuts, she said. “I will probably lose my job. It is a sad state,” said Gerson, a social sciences lecturer.
Cuts will be made over the next three years, said Gene Chelberg, an Academic Senate member from the Disability Programs and Resource Center.
“We will all feel the impact of the cuts. Stress levels will increase,” Chelberg said. “There are no good budget cuts. All cuts are painful but we must make them in order to survive.”
The university also is considering merging colleges to save an additional $800,000.
More budget cuts are on the way, according to Clara Potes-Fellow, spokesperson for the Office of the Chancellor. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to unveil his official budget plan May 14, and the CSU system is bracing itself for a $72 million cut and added fee hikes.
Undergraduate students can expect to pay 10 percent more for an education at SF State, and non-California residents would pay 20 percent more under the proposed budget. Graduate students would be the hardest hit with a 40 percent hike.
POST A COMMENT
|BACK TO TOP|| |
Copyright © 2008 [X]press | Journalism Department - San Francisco State University