Executives from California State University, East Bay joined California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed and other education, business and community leaders on Tuesday, May 24 in Sacramento for separate meetings with Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators to advocate against further budget cuts to the CSU. Already facing a $500 million reduction in funding, the CSU could face double that amount for 2011-12 if the Governor's proposed tax extensions are rejected.
"A $1 billion reduction in funding would be an unprecedented cut that will cause long term damage to the CSU, and would mean a $32 million budget reduction for Cal State East Bay," said Mohammad H. Qayoumi, president, Cal State East Bay. "That would represent a devastating 36 percent year-over-year system wide funding reduction and seriously harm our ability to meet the higher education and workforce development needs of our region."
The governor and legislature have already approved a budget that will reduce CSU funding by $500 million for the 2011-12 fiscal year. In response to the initial cut, CSU had announced that it will enroll fewer students this fall, and will apply an estimated $146 million from tuition increases already approved for fall 2011 to the budget reductions. Across the system, campuses will be asked to reduce their budgets by an additional $281 million, and the Chancellor's office will be cut by $10.8 million or 14 percent.
In his May Revise, the governor also warned that if his proposed temporary tax extensions are rejected, the CSU would face an additional $500 million cut, bringing the total to $1 billion. Earlier this month, the CSU outlined a contingency plan of action to address such an "all cuts" budget. Under this plan, CSU said it would "wait list" applications for winter and spring 2012 and consider an additional tuition fee increase of up to 32 percent. Under this worst case scenario, CSU estimates it could turn away 20,000 qualified applicants who would otherwise enroll for the winter/spring 2012 terms.
In addition to legislative visits to advocate on behalf of the CSU, on Monday, May 23, Chancellor Reed will also be presented with a resolution in recognition of the CSU's 50th anniversary. Created by the signing of the Donahoe Higher Education Act, the CSU will have awarded over 2.6 million degrees to graduates after the conclusion of commencements scheduled for this May and June.