Mar 112009
 
Authors: Elyse Jarvis

As CSU prepares to take a 2 to 3 percent hit to academics, individual colleges and departments presented proposals to university heads Wednesday regarding how the deficit would be best dispersed.

Interim Provost Rick Miranda said the proposals were prepared in response to the $13.1 million shortfall CSU anticipates for this year. Departments, he said, were asked to assess how cuts totaling up to 7 to 8 percent of the budget for academics would affect them.

“We hope it won’t get to that,” Miranda said of the possible additional five percent cut, but he explained that ongoing planning will be necessary until the Joint Budget Committee drafts the Long Bill, which determines the state’s budget, in April.

Revenues, he said, are determined by the state legislature, which weighs enrollment numbers and the tuition dollars that flow in conjunction with those numbers. CSU administration must decide how to best align the university’s expenses with the revenue projections it is given by the state.

During his presentation, Miranda committed the administration to a “transparent” budget process. He said he didn’t want to abandon the prospects of new initiatives, such as post-graduate career planning; a work, life and balance center; childcare options and sabbatical flexibility.

“We don’t really know what the extent of the budget cuts are at this point,” he said, explaining that reductions could still “break in (the university’s) favor.”

Tony Frank, interim CSU president, said the focus throughout budget preparations has been on the administrative and faculty positions to be affected.

“We need to think hard about the perspective of the people coming into this university,” he said, explaining that students enrolling at CSU are now facing the burden of taking out additional loans as family members are laid off, the necessity of taking second jobs and the depletion of previously secure savings accounts.

“But,” he said, “increasing numbers of students are going to figure out a way . to take a gamble and invest in CSU with the idea that in exchange for taking that gamble, there is a chance for their futures to be transformed.”

Frank said it is necessary to be attentive to and respectful of the responsibilities that a university has to its students, explaining that he intends to “very carefully and very thoroughly” decide how CSU will balance its budget.

News Managing Editor Elyse Jarvis can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Proposed cuts include:

From the Office of the President —

-$720,397 in the President’s Office

-$42,000 in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity

-28,617 in Alumni Relations

From CSUPD —

-$401,655, with $336,888 coming from reductions in salaried positions

From Athletics —

-$635,878, with $145,000 coming from reductions in salaried positions and $133,000 from summer school scholarships, with the remainder coming from reserves and operating expenses.

From the Office of the Provost —

-$874,244, with reductions coming from salaries, areas of previous commitments and faculty and undergraduate affairs.

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