July 22, 2009 - Earlier today at a forum for employees followed by a public briefing, California State University, Bakersfield President Horace Mitchell addressed the local impact of actions taken by the California State University board of trustees to make $584 million in budget cuts systemwide.
CSU trustees have approved a series of budget reduction plans, including higher student fees, reduced student enrollment, and employee furloughs. Many campuses will also be faced with reducing programs and services to close the budget gap.
Mitchell indicated that CSUB is facing a "staggering" budget reduction of $13.5 million.
"We have never experienced anything like this before," Mitchell said. "It is difficult time resulting in extremely difficult reductions for our students, our staff and our community."
Two goals have driven both statewide and local budgetary decisions: to serve as many students as possible without sacrificing quality; and to preserve as many jobs as possible for faculty and staff.
Specific action taken by the CSU includes
- increasing undergraduate student fees by $224 per quarter.
- curtailing enrollment at campuses beginning with winter quarter 2010.
- implementing furloughs for administrative and management level employees beginning August 1.
- implementing furloughs as negotiated and approved by California State University Employees Union, representing non-academic employees, beginning August 1.
The possibility of furloughs for faculty members is currently being voted upon by the California Faculty Association membership. Voting is scheduled through today.
"All of the actions taken by the trustees will help to close the budget gap on our campus, but it does not cover all the reductions that are necessary," Mitchell said. "Even after the revenue from fees and savings from furloughs, there is still another $4.8 million that must be reduced from departmental budgets across the university. Assessing the best options for those cuts becomes our next step."
The lack of state support for higher education has forced the CSU to limit enrollment at all campuses beginning with the 2010 winter quarter. Students who had previously applied to CSUB or have questions about the admissions procedure are urged to contact the admissions department immediately at (661) 654-3036.
Both the CSU and CSUB note that enrollment reductions are necessary to preserve a high-quality educational program. The system cannot provide services to more students than are supported by state funding.
"This is a difficult time for our campus community, but I am confident the university will emerge with more streamlined operations and more innovative programs," Mitchell noted. "We continue to focus on our vision of excellence and take actions that advance our goals. A high quality education opens doors to a prosperous future. Our students deserve nothing less."
Media ContactColleen Dillaway, Director of Public Affairs & Communications