UPDATE - Hiring freeze on CSU campuses
January 28, 2009 8:22 PM
CSU campuses instituted a hiring freeze this year on all but essential positions in response to California's staggering budget deficit.
In a statement issued by CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed on Jan 9, a $14.8 billion revenue shortfall in 2008-09 will grow to $41.6 billion by the end of the 2009-10 fiscal year if additional cost-cutting measures are not met.
Due to the urgent nature of the budget, SF State has looked to hiring as a basic cost-saving strategy.
"The direction was to take a more prudent look at the essential," said Lori Gentles, associate vice president of human resources at SF State. "That way you can absorb within an operation without bringing that operation down."
Positions lost on campus are decided on a departmental basis.
The extent and outcome of the hiring freeze is hard to predict and largely dependent on the state, according to Gentles.
Additional actions include a salary freeze for all CSU vice president level positions and above, travel restrictions for employees and the cancellation of all non-critical equipment and supply purchases.
The actions followed the CSU's November decision to limit the number of new students entering in fall 2009 because of its inability to fund enrollment growth and operational needs.
The budget shows mandatory costs, enrollment funding and financial aid costs required for 2009-10 fiscal year to total $84.4 million, $15.4 million more than available revenue.
The new budget is based on the assumption that the CSU board of trustees will increase student fee rates by 10 percent, which is projected to achieve $130 million in revenues; with one-third of the revenues set aside for student financial aid.
The crisis has also forced the CSU to shut down the $90 million construction site for the new library at SF State due to the states freezing of $600 million in general-obligation and lease revenue bonds used to finance these projects.
An estimated 130 similar projects have also been affected, according to Erik Fallis, a spokesperson for the CSU Chancellor's Office.
The budget proposal also reflected $14.3 billion in revenue adjustments, $17.4 billion in spending cuts and $10 billion in warrants and barrowing to balance the budget reserve.
Reed encouraged students, faulty, staff and alumni to work together during the hard economic times.
"Tell our elected officials as well as our local businesses, community and civic leaders, that the CSU is the economic powerhouse that provides the highly skilled professionals to the industries that make California successful," Reed said in his statement. "Higher education is a long-term investment that benefits everyone."
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