Nov 142002
Authors: Christopher J. Ortiz

President Albert Yates first spoke about the financial problems CSU was facing in his fall address in September.

According to a story that ran Thursday in The Coloradoan, CSU is giving $8 million, or 6 percent of its budget, back to state after a budget reduction ordered by Gov. Bill Owens.

The $8 million is in addition to a decrease in the funding CSU will receive for the financial year that began in July.

In The Coloradoan article, Gerald Bomatti, the vice president for administration service, said one option that the university would have to face is increasing tuition.

“CSU has two main areas of revenue; from the state general fund reserve and tuition,” he said. “We know that tuition is not an infinite source of money.”

A decision regarding if and how much tuition will be raised will now be discussed with the governor’s office and the state senate and house in accordance with the Board of Governors, the governing system of CSU, according to Bomatti.

“I expect the issue to be discussed extensively with the governor’s office and with the Board of Education,” he said. The Board of Governors, the governing system for CSU, will also be involved in talks.

If the decision is made to raise tuition, especially beyond the state’s rate of inflation, the issue of allocation comes up, Bomatti said. He said depending on if and at what rate tuition goes up, it will need to be decided what percentage will go towards finical aid, to help accommodate the increasing price of higher education to those students in need.

Students should be reassured that student fee-funded programs on campus will not likely be affected because neither tuition or CSU’s funding from the state mandates students fees.

Bomatti said CSU is not isolated in this issue. Similar funding cutbacks are being seen at other public universities such as University of Colorado and University of Northern Colorado.

“With (talks of) tuition increasing, it adds more pressure to graduate in four years,” said Chelsea Carroll, a sophomore studying English.

“We are very concerned,” said Cord Brundage, who is the campus outreach director for the Associated Students of CSU. “Higher education should remain a priority for the state in light of the budget situation. (ASCSU) will do whatever we can to voice the concerns of students while our state manages its financial situation.”

Plans to minimize the financial restraints on the institution include halting a host of campus activities including building maintenance, custodians, mailing services on campus, staff support systems and keeping vacant faculty position unfilled.

CSU’s budget issues might also affect renovating and buying new technology for classrooms.

Most institutions made a bet on the economy fairing either better or worse at the beginning of the finical year Bomatti explained.

“CSU made a conscious decision on the governor’s statement in June (about state budget restraints),” he said. According to him, that decision better prepared the university for this type of situation.

“CSU is a 132-year-old institution and it has a long track record of finding a way to weather these situations,” Bomatti said.

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