By Eva Klein
*Published in the print edition of The Channel Islands View on Dec. 2008
On November 21, 2008, California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed held a media teleconference to address the recent system-wide impaction, the first such impaction of its kind within the California State University System. During the briefing, Reed addressed the current state of the California budget, and what it will mean to the CSU system in the near future.
The CI View was invited to that teleconference and, received information directly from Chancellor Reed himself regarding the issue. “This is going to be a rough year,” said Reed. The CSU was originally allotted a budget of 2.79 billion dollars which is on target for what has been given in the past, but 215 million dollars less than what is needed to accommodate the anticipated growth of the CSU system. The CSU will also face a mid-year cut of 66.3 million dollars.
In most recent news, Chancellor Reed announced that an additional 31.3 million dollars will be cut, totaling a budget cut of 97.6 million dollars for 2008-2009. “It [the budget cut] is real; we have no choice,” said Reed. As a result of the impaction all CSU campuses will have an enrollment cap that will be based on the current population of each campus with the application deadline for new students being no later than November 30th of 2008. Each campus will stay open until they meet their enrollment, but will remain open no later than November 30, 2008. CSU Northridge for example, is going to cut a total of 1,000 students from their enrollment growth.
“We are going to divide the cut in as fair of a way as we can,” stated Reed. Along with the cap on enrollment comes a plan to control student population by setting in place “service areas” for students. A service area university would refer to a CSU that is closest to a student’s place of residence. The only exceptions for these service areas would be, for example, a particular major that is not offered at a student’s service area campus, then they would be allowed to attend a CSU beyond their service area CSU. There are specific schools however, that would be considered “destination campuses” meaning that they do not apply to a particular service area. These schools would not have such limitations.
Chancellor Reed stated best, “We are an investment.” For every dollar that the state invests in the CSU, $4.41 is given back to the state of California through the graduates who enter the work force. This is a communication campaign that the CSU is promoting to increase awareness regarding the benefits of investing state dollars into the CSU.
The California State University System has set forth the precedent that their first priority is to current CSU students. The CSU is committed to protecting the quality of academics for all students. “The best case scenario for next year would be to keep the current budget, and to have the Governor and the legislature buy out student fees,” stated Reed.
It is too early to tell what exactly the CSU will have to endure as a result of the budget cuts or if student fee increases can be expected. For more information regarding the system wide impaction, visit http://www.calstate.edu. For incoming students who need to apply before the deadline, please visit www.csumentor.edu.