Campus: CSU Bakersfield -- August 08, 2003

Budget Cuts Cause Enrollment Restrictions

Most of California State University’s 23 campuses will likely restrict their customary practice of admitting new students in their spring terms as a result of the latest round of spending cuts in the newly signed state budget.

The midyear admissions picture varies among the 23 schools; however, California State University, Bakersfield is one of six CSU campuses that will not be accepting applications for its spring quarter, which begins March 29, 2004.

According to CSUB Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, James George, last Friday the Chancellor’s office asked all 23 campuses how they’d like to reconcile the growing student population with budget constraints, and CSUB officials saw no alternative but to close its doors to students applying for spring admission.

“Because of the state budget reductions, our target enrollment was originally reduced from 7,100 FTE (full time equivalent) students to 6,900,” George said. “It was further reduced to 6,807 after the last $15 million cut from the system’s budget.”

George added that offering a high quality education is paramount to CSUB school officials and that it would have no problem filling the original admissions requirement if the money was available. However, he added that the decision was also prompted by the fact that the Chancellor’s office will impose penalties upon the campuses that exceed their budgeted numbers.

Homer Montalvo, CSUB director of admissions said fall enrollment numbers are already above last year’s numbers, but until fall enrollment is complete, he is uncertain how much of an impact this directive will have on the winter and spring quarters.

"Our current applicant pool is currently up nearly 50 percent over lastyear for freshmen applications,” Montalvo said. “Since all levels are up over last year, it will impact how many students we can accommodate in the winter and spring quarters.”

Montalvo added that current projections for the fall quarter indicate that CSUB will be about 300 FTE above its mandated enrollment figures, which may force the university to make further adjustments during the winter 2004 quarter. However, enrollment numbers usually decline in the winter and spring quarters, which may help keep the enrollment doors open at CSUB. Exactly how those numbers will pan out will not be determined until early September.

George said that CSUB officials aren’t happy with this development and he hopes that CSUB will not have to decline students’ admission in the spring quarter. He expressed further concern in that he sees this move by the legislature as a step backwards for higher education.

“It has been a long-standing objective in the state of California that the CSU system will provide a higher education to any and all Californians who are qualified and interested in seeking one,” George said. “I see this development as the legislature backing away from this promise.”

CONTACT: Becky Zelinski, 661/664-2138, bzelinski@csub.edu


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