Campus: Sonoma State University -- February 21, 2003

Sonoma State May Accommodate First Budget Cuts With Energy Rebate, Faces $4-7 Million Reductions In Fall


Energy rebates from Pacific Gas & Electric are allowing Sonoma State University to meet a major portion of unexpected mid-year cuts required by the State's budget deficit.

The $703,200 in rebates awarded by PG&E just months ago for a solar panel array and new heating and cooling systems in the remodeling of Ruben Salazar Hall, is proving critical in offsetting a major portion of the $952,200 that the university must plan to cut immediately from its budget as it finds itself in the middle of the spring semester.

But the University still faces $4-7 million in cuts for the next academic year, which begins in the fall. At the same time, the campus enrollment is expected to grow by more than 500 students.

"As we face these challenges, it is likely we will need to make significant changes to the way we do business at Sonoma State University, " says SSU President Ruben Arminana.

"Our goal is to maintain quality programs for our students and maintain a good working environment for our employees. At this time, I stand behind my commitment to avoid lay-offs of any permanent employees."

President Arminana has prepared an update on the current state of the Sonoma State University budget situation for the current semester, and for the next academic year. That update can be found at www.sonoma.edu/uaffairs/budget/update_2.html

More updates will follow, says Director of Communications Susan Kashack, as the response to the budget crisis becomes clearer over the coming weeks.

The CSU will conduct a series of special meetings over the next several months to consult with various constituency groups about the budget crisis. The System Budget Advisory Committee, which is made up of presidents, provosts, and other student, faculty, staff, and alumni leaders, will begin meeting monthly rather than four times per year.

The CSU Board of Trustees' Committee on Finance will begin meeting monthly rather than every other month at Board of Trustees' meetings.

Additionally, the CSU will convene a budget summit to be held in mid-March in Long Beach.

Summit attendees include campus presidents, campus Associated Student presidents, chairs of campus academic senates, and leaders from the Statewide Academic Senate and the California State Student Association.

For further information, contact Susan Kashack, Director of Communications,(707) 664-2122.


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