California State University Budget Cut Again, Special Trustees Meeting Set(Friday, Dec. 6, 2002) -- The California State University, already hit with budget cuts earlier this year, will suffer additional midyear reductions from the state that will decrease 2002/03 total funding by $125 million. A special CSU Board of Trustees meeting has been set for December 16 to address budget issues.
Estimates place California's budget shortfall between $21 and $30 billion through 2004. Gov. Davis has called the legislature into special session beginning Monday, Dec. 9, to deal with the crisis. Today, he released a series of proposed cuts for various state entities, including $59.6 million in permanent reductions for the California State University and its 23 campuses, effective immediately for 2002/03. On January 10, the governor will release his proposed 2003/04 budget that is expected to contain additional permanent reductions for the CSU.
"There are immense challenges ahead for the California State University. This year is a problem, but next year could be a catastrophe," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "We do, however, expect to accommodate our student enrollment for the remainder of this year, and will make every effort to honor our commitment to students to provide classes and services."
CSU had been anticipating additional cuts, so Reed and Richard West, executive vice chancellor and chief financial officer, had cautioned CSU presidents to be prudent with spending, and encouraged them to maintain a reserve by instituting partial hiring freezes (except for full-time faculty), not replacing equipment and not entering into major contracts.
"We have been successful at limiting some spending the first part of this year, but these additional cuts are going to be felt by all areas at the campuses, and we will feel even more pain next year," West said. "We are entering an era of belt-tightening that will be worse than what we experienced in the early 1990s."
The CSU's 2002/03 $2.68 billion general fund budget included money for a 5 percent enrollment increase. However, the CSU currently is serving an additional 8,000 students who are not funded by the state. In addition, the CSU started this academic year with $43 million in cuts, as well as another $22.8 million in unfunded costs for health benefit premiums and unfunded salary expenses. Adding the now-additional $59.6 million to these amounts brings this year's cuts to $125 million.
The Board of Trustees will meet from 10 a.m. to noon Monday, December 16, at the CSU Chancellor's Office in Long Beach to discuss and act upon this new budget information.
Contact: Colleen Bentley-Adler, (562) 951-4801, firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: 6 December 2002