CCC contact: Tod Burnett (916) 445-4434, mobile: 916/955-8655, firstname.lastname@example.org
Higher education leaders visit lawmakers to protest proposed budget cuts;
(April 28, 2008) - Citing the potential for serious harm to the state’s economy and future, the leaders of California’s three segments of public higher education – the California Community Colleges, the California State University and the University of California – today (Apr. 28) are making a rare joint visit to the state Capitol to urge policymakers to resist deep budget cuts for public higher education.
As part of CSU’s annual visit to legislators, CCC Chancellor Diane Woodruff, CSU Chancellor Charles Reed, and UC President Robert Dynes and UC Provost Rory Hume are urging the Governor and the Legislature to provide the necessary funding in this year’s higher education budget to support greater academic opportunity for the next generation of Californians and to ensure the state’s economic vitality.
“This unprecedented collaboration among our three institutions underscores the severity of the proposed cuts and their potentially devastating effects on the people of this state, now and for years to come,” said Reed. “If we want California to be competitive in the global economy, then funding for higher education needs to be a top fiscal priority.”
For the past few months, leaders and other members of the three systems have been engaged in a first-ever joint public education campaign aimed at helping the public and policymakers understand how important the state’s investment in public higher education is to California’s economy, and to Californians’ short and long-term well being.
If adopted in the final state budget, among other things the proposed cuts would mean severe hardship for students: Tens of thousands of qualified students will be denied a spot in college or be unable to make progress toward a degree or certificate. The proposed budget would leave the community colleges without the resources to serve more than 50,000 students next year, and both the CSU and the UC are already overenrolled by 10,000 and 4,000 students respectively. CSU has already been forced to turn away 10,000 qualified students for the coming fall semester, and UC may not be able to increase enrollment at all the following year. Student fee increases also will be considered by the governing boards of the UC and CSU systems.
“This is not about the future of our respective institutions; it is about our state’s economy and the future of California,” said Woodruff. “California’s public higher education systems not only create vital educational opportunities that help improve the quality of life for all Californians, they also represent the economic engine that keeps California thriving and globally competitive.”
A recent study commissioned by the Campaign for College Opportunity analyzed the cumulative impact of the proposed budget cuts on the three public higher education systems and the citizens of California. Key findings included:
More about the report is available at http://www.collegecampaign.org/budget/
“There is a very good reason why other U.S. states, and even foreign governments, look to California’s public higher education system as a model – ours is a remarkable and truly unique system that has produced remarkable results for generations of Californians,” said Hume. “The proposed budget cuts have the potential to cripple the kinds of educational, economic, scientific and technological benefits that Californians enjoy on a daily basis.”
Combined, the three systems play a critical role in providing educational opportunities for California’s youth, and in fueling the economic and intellectual vitality of the state, including the following:
California Community Colleges
California State University
More information about the proposed budgets cuts is available at:
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 450,000 students and 46,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded nearly 2.5 million degrees, about 90,000 annually. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See www.calstate.edu
Last Update: April 28, 2008