Campus: CSU Fresno -- May 11, 2004

Welty Says 'Compact' Good News for Fresno State

California State University, Fresno President John D. Welty said today (May 11) that the Higher Education Compact announced today by Gov. Schwarzenegger and the heads of the state's two university systems is "extremely good news" for Fresno State and Central California.

Welty said the six-year plan will allow the university to effectively plan for the future.

"The new compact provides for reasonable fee increases and predictable funding to enable us to serve additional future students in this dynamic and rapidly growing part of California," Welty said.

Schwarzenegger reached the agreement today with California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed and University of California President Robert C. Dynes.

The Compact, which will take effect in 2005-06 and continue through 2010-11, is intended to ensure quality, access and affordability in the two public university systems. It proposes to fund 2.5 percent annual enrollment growth to ensure educational opportunities for an additional 8,000 CSU students per year.

Welty said a stable funding source will allow Fresno State to continue its mission to produce highly trained graduates, the majority of who remain in Central California and are productively employed and involved in their communities.

"Central California depends on the good work done by Fresno State and all the other
colleges and universities in the region," said Welty. "The ability of higher education to help create new businesses and provide a highly educated workforce is absolutely crucial to our economy."

While most of the Compact does not apply to 2004-05, student fees are mentioned specifically. The Compact proposes a three-year plan for of fee increases for CSU and UC undergraduate and graduate students. The fees will increase will be 14 percent for undergraduates next year and 8 percent the following two years. The fee increases will be higher for graduate students.

Bernie Vinovrski, associate vice president for Enrollment Services at Fresno State, said although the fee increases are unfortunate, the three-year fee schedule will help students and parents in their planning to finance college.

Also, the provision for enrollment growth is "good news for the residents of California," he said, "because and additional 2.5 percent of the people will be able to enroll. That's also helpful for guidance counselors as they direct students to colleges and universities," he said.

Vinovrski does caution future students, however that they need to pay close attention to application deadlines, which will continue to be earlier than previous years. "Even though there will be more room, there still will be lots of people applying," he said.

Welty praised the governor for his leadership and strong commitment to higher education. He also offered his thanks for Chancellor Reed for his work on behalf of this region.

"I appreciate the leadership of CSU Chancellor Reed during this process and his attention to the needs of students and parents here in Central California."

For more information on the Higher Education Compact, see www.fresnostatenews.com.

Contacts: Shirley Melikian Armbruster, (559) 278-2795


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