Jan 292003
 
Authors: Laura Standley

As Colorado’s budget crisis continues to loom, CSU has taken action to meet Gov. Bill Owens’ budget cut requirements for the next fiscal year.

More than $14 million has already been cut from CSU’s budget and there is no guarantee on whether or not CSU will have to cut even more.

Beginning July 1, at the start of the upcoming fiscal year, CSU will not fill 50 vacant faculty positions; however, these positions have not been eliminated. Seventy-five administrative positions will be eliminated, including 45 vacant positions and 30 currently filled positions. Each department determines which jobs will be frozen or eliminated. They are chosen based upon each department’s individual needs, according to Keith Ickes, the director of Budgets and Institutional Analysis at CSU. Ickes also said each department will have to meet the same reduction amount.

These reductions will create about $5.4 million to meet state budget expectations, according to the University Relations Department in a prepared statement.

Continuing CSU’s level of academics and how long a faculty member has been with the university are determining factors in what positions or classes are frozen or cut.

The faculty position freezes will directly effect the size of incoming freshmen classes. CSU will not be able to support the same number of students if the state is unable to provide funding, Ickes said.

Though class availability will also be impacted, Ickes said core curriculum courses will stay relatively available. The availability of these classes remains emphasized because each student needs them for graduation, he said.

Instructors teaching core courses exclusively have more job security.

“For me, I’m a part-time lecturer…teaching core courses, there’s really not going to be much of a change,” said Rob Corkran, a graduate student lecturer. However, Corkran is concerned with the overall welfare of the university.

“I hope there is an opportunity for them to cut costs on printing-my courses are all online,” he said. Corkran said in his classes, students do most of their work on WebCT including quizzes, tests, assignments and discussions. He said this way, he eliminates the costs of Scantron answer sheets altogether.

However, Corkran said he realizes the inherent costs of running WebCT.

“But those costs will be there whether or not I use (WebCT),” he said.

For instructors whose positions are not secured, there is reason to worry.

“I’m concerned as an adjunct-hired semester by semester-I might lose my job,” said Javier Gonzalez, an instructor of foreign language.

Gonzalez said he is also concerned are also with the Republican-dominated state legislature. He said to them, one instructor might seem expendable but he said he teaches hundreds of students each semester. Gonzalez said a large number of adjunct instructors made up CSU’s College of Liberal Arts staff last semester.

Gonzalez emphasized the drop in administrative support will undercut CSU at its foundation.

“It’ll stress out the unsung heroes of the university-the administrative end,” he said. Every part of the process of keeping a university rolling smoothly is important, he said.

ASCSU President David Bower said students in campus organizations have little need to worry about their programs being cut as of yet.

“One of the advantages (for student organizations) is student fees won’t be affected; for right now, they will continue at the same strength,” Bower said. He said a major concern for students is whether or not CSU will continue to have enough teachers to maintain the current standard CSU has in academics.

CSU students are worried about the impact the budget will have on their education.

“The budget cut, as of right now, we haven’t seen too much of an effect but our professors are going to suffer which will lead to the suffering of our learning abilities,” said Kenneth Tremblay, a junior Asian international studies major. “I actually had to buy my handouts this semester,” he said.

Tremblay is not the only student worried about how the budget cuts will affect his personal budget.

“I’m worried about class availability,” said David Kraemer, a junior sports medicine major. He said class availability is already a problem for him.

“Cutting classes delays graduation and I already pay out-of-state tuition. On top of that, if I can’t graduate on time, I’ll have to pay living expenses even longer,” Kraemer said.

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