CSU Board Of Trustees limits options for students and faculty

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CSU Board Of Trustees limits options for students and faculty

Signs held during the CFA informational picket on campus on Nov. 8, 2011. Photo Credit, Andres Aguila/ The Sundial

Signs held during the CFA informational picket on campus on Nov. 8, 2011. Photo Credit, Andres Aguila/ The Sundial

Signs held during the CFA informational picket on campus on Nov. 8, 2011. Photo Credit, Andres Aguila/ The Sundial

Signs held during the CFA informational picket on campus on Nov. 8, 2011. Photo Credit, Andres Aguila/ The Sundial

Josselyne Rivas

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A systemwide tuition increase will be voted on by the CSU Board of Trustees in March following their meeting last Tuesday.

The meeting held at CSU Chancellor’s office, which is the CSU headquarters, had faculty and students in attendance who were there to voice their opinions about the proposed 5 percent tuition increase that is set to take effect in fall 2017.

The California State University proposed the tuition increase to help reduce the lack of funding within the system as a result of state budget cuts that left the total CSU budget at about $157.2 million for the 2017-2018 school year.

The board is proposing three different strategies to help fund the remaining $167.7 million that the CSU budget still needs, the first of which is asking the state to increase its initial amount. However, the state has already disregarded the additional $118 million that the California Faculty Association (CFA) asked for in December of last year.

 

The second option is the tuition increase, which would increase tuition depending on the amount of units, degree and residency status of students and would range from $156 – $1,048.

Professor of Chicano Studies and CFA Chair of Contract Development and Bargaining Strategy, Antonio Gallo, said some members of trustees were “hesitant and uncomfortable” with raising tuition after hearing student testimonials and the CFA report findings.

The last strategy outlined in the agenda is the cutting and/or reducing of programs and services- both academic and non- academic, for students across the campuses, both of which will directly affect students and faculty. This could include reduction in the number of courses being offered and having individual campuses decide where to redirect their funds

“They scare the public and threaten that programs will be cut. Then people think that tuition increases are better than getting their program cut,” Gallo said.

Gallo also said the CSU has money in reserve and access to those funds that are not included in the CSU budget, but that the board has decided to increase the salaries of campus presidents and their administrations instead of giving it to student programming.

In contrast, the CSU website states that tuition increase would not have a large effect on the more than 60 percent of students who receive financial aid, federal and state grants or fee waivers that cover tuition, it is just a means to help cover the 30 years of CSU defunding and the growing enrollment rates.

“They do this all the time. It is kind of irritating to me,” said sociology graduate student Jennifer Skornik. “Tuition increases are obviously a part of going to school and living in this society and I know that raising tuition is a part of getting an education but you better get something worthwhile for that price tag.”

The CFA has also decided to have Lobby Days on April 5 and 6 to increase CSU state funding. It will provide an opportunity for faculty and students to lobby legislatures, local and statewide, but does not mean that there will be a faculty strike. The CFA is trying to stall the board from making a decision before the April labor day.

*In the initial publication of this article, it stated that it was a statewide tuition increase, but it is a systemwide one.

The meeting was held at the CSU Chancellor’s office not the at Cal State Long Beach.