March 19, 2008
The Honorable Abel Maldonado
California State Senate/Assembly
State Capitol, Room 4082
Sacramento, CA, 94249-0033
Re: CSU Budget Proposal 08-09 Fiscal Year
Dear Assembly Member Maldonado:
My name is Cheryl Ney. My husband and I are new to the central coast and the Cal Poly community, having moved from Columbus, Ohio last year. I have been in higher education for over twenty years now, committed to educational access and excellence. My passion for educational access is driven by my concern for our six grandchildren, all first generation Cambodians! I heartily endorse the mission of an educational system committed to access and excellence and so, I am writing to lend my voice of support for the California State University system, and one of its’ most preeminent institutions, California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.
The proposed budget cuts of $386 million to the CSU will undoubtedly affect all Californians. At this crucial economic juncture, reducing funding to the CSU can only harm its mission of producing not only a highly skilled workforce for our state but citizens actively engaged and committed to their communities! (Community service and service learning are important educational opportunities offered in the CSU).
I believe this is the wrong direction for the state to go; cuts to the CSU will make the economy more stagnant. With these cuts, the CSU estimates that 10,000 eligible students will be turned away. The impact of this will be staggering and long lasting. The CSU plays a major role in the state’s workforce, graduating 90,000 students each year, including 87 percent of education graduates, 65 percent of business professionals, 82 percent of those involved in public administration, and more than half of the state’s graduates in agriculture-related fields.
Do you realize that a $300 million cut to the CSU means a billion dollar loss to the economy?
New to the Cal Poly campus as Associate Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Undergraduate Education, I have had the privilege of meeting with our newest faculty. One repeated story I hear is of young people educated in the CSU who have gone off to earn their Ph.D.’s at institutions across the nation with the focused goal of returning to the CSU to “pay forward” what was instilled in them, a passion for learning and a commitment to serve their communities, prepared to contribute to California’s workforce.
Given the significant impact the CSU has on the future of California’s workforce, including its higher education workforce, it is critical that you act to restore the proposed budget cuts to the CSU budget.
California’s future depends on the CSU!
I look forward to hearing your response in this matter.
Cheryl L. Ney