Lack of optimism for future of CSU budget in CFA meeting
December 1, 2010 7:57 PM
A small group of the SF State branch of the California Faculty Association gathered in the administration building Dec. 1 to discuss the severe budget reductions that will soon be facing SF State and the entire California State University system.
With CSU's directly affected by California's projected $25 billion deficit for the 2011-12 fiscal year, public education in the state lacks adequate funding and the staff present were not optimistic about what lays ahead.
"The worst is yet to come," said SF State Academic Senate Chair Shawn Whalen. "What we faced with the (2009) furloughs will pale in comparison to what might happen next year."
If talks within the state legislature fail to secure funding for higher education, additional student fee increases and faculty layoffs would be likely. This is despite a 300 percent increase in CSU student fees dating back to 2001.
Whalen said he "would not be surprised if many if not all CSU's would initiate faculty layoff."
These talks fall shortly after the University Planning Advisory Council's proposal to lessen the number of SF State colleges academic from eight to six.
The decision to shrink the number of colleges has not been finalized.
Nevertheless, there was some optimism to the meeting as philosophy lecturer Ann Robertson called the meeting "productive," as less painful alternatives to layoffs including reduction of faculty hours and reduced pay were discussed.
"We also ask the question on how can we influence long term what California can do for public education," Robertson said.
Associate Professor of Health and SF State CFA President Ramon Castellblanch, who delivered the agenda to faculty, also found the session productive.
"We don't know what's going to happen, but we should prepare for some rapid development in our budget," Castellblanch said. "Getting concrete ideas for solving these budget problems is a positive step and we plan to meet again and discuss these."
An additional meeting is scheduled for December 8.
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