Cal State U Budget Lacking

By By U Wire and By U Wire

By U Wire

LONG BEACH, Calif.?California State University Chancellor Charles Reed announced last week that due to the state’s economic downturn, the CSU system is facing a budget shortfall.

In a telephone conference with the system’s Board of Trustees, Reed announced that Gov. Gray Davis’ projection of a $14 billion state budget deficit would force CSU to make budget cuts.

Clara Potes-Fellow, manager of media relations for the Chancellor’s Office, said that the CSU has been asked to work with the state Department of Finance and will have to begin looking to cut costs. Chancellor Reed is meeting with the presidents of all 23 CSU campuses Nov. 13 and 14 to discuss budget issues, including what kind of cuts will need to be made.

Nothing specific has been asked of universities yet, Potes-Fellow said.

Potes-Fellow said that some items that Reed and the presidents may discuss are tuition raises, program cuts and a hiring freeze, although she stressed that these are not the only options and that they may not occur.

She also said that full- and part-time faculty positions will continue to be filled.

The CSU was faced with a similar situation 10 years ago when a state budget shortfall forced the CSU to raise tuition by 50 percent. Fees were later rolled back.

According to Armando Contreras, executive assistant to CSULB President Robert Maxson, it is too early to tell what the effects might be, but he said that a tuition raise might happen again.

Contreras also added that Reed has not asked individual universities to prepare budget reduction plans, but said that CSULB is looking into the problem.

“It’s obvious the situation may get worse,” Contreras said. “[The administration needs] to be thinking about cutting expenses to cushion the budget.”

The CSU Board of Trustees recently approved a $3.7 billion budget for the 2002-2003 fiscal year. This budget is adequate to support current university services as well as serving the 10,000 new students expected to enroll next year.