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CSUN hosts conference that discusses the future of California’s public education amidst budget cuts


CSU Chancellor Charles Reed holds a question and answer session with students about education budget cuts. Photo Credit: Armando Ruiz / Senior Photographer

Students demanded a question and answer session with CSU Chancellor Charles Reed in an event held at CSUN. Reed obliged.

“CSU: in the next 50 years” addressed education issues at the conference held at the Valley Performance Arts Center.

CSUN hosted a day of discussions regarding education policies of the CSU system. Among faculty, staff and other educators from various CSU campuses, Senator Alex Padilla (D-San Fernando Valley) and CSUN President Jolene Koester gave speeches at the event.

One of the most talked about issues throughout the day was the California education budget crisis.

Reed addressed some of the major cuts that have been applied to the state budget.

“California is about to have a big train wreck,” Reed said.

The California State University system is facing a $500 million budget reduction.

Another topic touched on by Reed upon was the state and its relationship to higher education.

“We need to have the legislature and governor prepare to reinvest in the CSU,” Reed said.

At the start of Reed’s speech, Students for a Quality Education (SQE) members wearing white T-shirts that read Student Q&A Demanded arose from the top rows of the lecture hall and walked towards the bottom level. Once Reed concluded his speech, the protestors returned to their seats.

Padilla said protests are sometimes necessary to get their message heard.

“But ultimately solutions come when there’s substantive dialogue,” Padilla said. “It’s not just a matter of identifying the problem. It’s working together to come up with a solution.”

Reed said although many decisions affecting the CSUs are made at the state level the students’ voices could still be heard.

Reed said students could write to their legislators and elected state officials.

“Students can visit legislators in their home district,”  Reed said. “Legislators come home every weekend. They have local offices.”

In a private meeting, students from CSUN, Cal State Sacramento and Fullerton questioned Reed on topics such as, California tax revenues and demanded the CSU board of trustees meetings be more accessible to students. They also called for his  resignation.

“I work everyday in what is the best interests of faculty, students and staff,” Reed told the crowd of students. “I do what I can to move this university (system) forward. I know everyone feels some pain. I worry about students first.”

SQE members were insistent he have more meetings with them.

Reed agreed to meet again with student demonstrators “if (he) had the chance.”

As CSUN police escorted Reed off campus in his vehicle, a few unidentified SQE members tried to block his car from leaving. Campus police quickly cleared the vehicle’s path.

After the lunch break, panelists from different CSU campuses commented on their areas of expertise.

In the P-12, Community Colleges, and the CSU panel, Nancy Shulock, professor and exective director for the Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy at CSU Sacramento spoke on the areas of education that will change in the next 50 years. The three areas that will shift are leadership in education, data analysis of teachers, institutional structure.

Thomas McCarron, CSUN vice president of administration and finance, discussed strategies to fund the CSU.

McCarron proposed an idea for a different tuition model which will be based on per unit fees rather than the current fee schedule.

“Why is it suitable for seven units to cost the same as 21 units?” McCarron said.

He suggested more online or hybrid classes.

“It’s less dependency on building and mortar,” he said.

In the Serving the Students, Serving the State panel, Richard Moore, professor of management in the college of business and economics at CSUN, said the admission process should be altered and more focus should be given to graduation rates rather than the admission numbers.

In the last panel, Terri Yamada, professor of Asian American studies and California Faculty Association president at CSU Long Beach, directed the conversation to relationship technology and instruction.

“(Is) the relationship of Facebook friends the same as friends (in real life)?” Yamada said.

Ending the day, Provost Harry Hellenbrand summarized and concluded the conference with a simple statement.

“We’re really camouflaging the issue from ourselves,” Hellenbrand said. “We say it’s money but money is not the whole deal. It’s how we orient ourselves as a society, a system, as a university.”


Reporting by: Reanna Delgadillo / Senior Reporter and Brian De Los Santos / Staff Reporter




  1. GET-REAL Apr 25, 2011

    CSUN students are ingrates

    1. Ankur Patel Apr 26, 2011

      Would you consider CSUN students as a whole, priveleged? Do priveleged people generally tend to be ingrateful?

      1. Vlad Apr 27, 2011


        A (Progressive) system has been setup that has gradually expanded the providing of “entitlements” to the electorate, whether Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare, Food Stamps, Unemployment, Education. These “entitlements” have given [all] Americans a sense of entitlement.

        There are not enough producers to feed the entitlement takers. Students are no less ungrateful than other segments of society that now expect to be provided for by daddy(government).

        Our society is at a crossroads. We will need to either cut back on entitlements, through cuts to handouts, or, as I know that you hope for, revolt against the system, to overwhelm it (google: Cloward/Piven) and implement full-blown Marxism.

        Peace, out!


        1. Ankur Patel May 3, 2011

          I agree, we are at a crossroads… We can either continue to be ignorant of how the system operates, or we can take a seat at the table.

          The fact is we have voter turnouts that are pathetic and even those that show up, often don’t know what they are voting for. We vote for a lot more than just the president or governor…

          An educated electorate would lead to dramatic changes in the system, not Marxism.

  2. Dakota Lopez Apr 25, 2011

    If everyone truly wants to stop the salary increases, they should look primarily at the AS executive salaries. The President Conor Lansdale is the 4th highest paid President out of 23 CSU Presidents. His staff also has SKYROCKETING SALARIES similar to Chancellor “G”reed


    1. Ankur Patel Apr 25, 2011

      Looking at salaries is not the solution, it is a rallying call. Pay attention to what is going on because we have found a way to vote ourselves money. Educate yourself on energy, education, agricultural policy, etc. Learn who is in charge and what they stand for, read the ballot initiatives and laws that are passed that decide what is legal and what isn’t.

      1. Dakota Lopez Apr 26, 2011

        You just said a bunch of nothing. Just a bunch of vague liberal talking points.

        1. Ankur Patel Apr 26, 2011

          Understanding policy is a liberal talking point? Encouraging others to understand how laws are passed and their ramifications is vague? Sigh.

          1. Vlad Apr 27, 2011

            If, in your analysis, you haven’t come to the conclusion that “the Liberal politicians” in the State have created the current budget problem, then you aren’t doing the right research.

            California, as other states across the country, are like a “sim state.” Many(most) other states don’t have the problems that California has.

            California has many things working in its favor. Weather, Food production, Water, Oil, Technology, Wealth.

            What are the factors that has turned our State from one of the most vibrant economies in the world, to near bankrupt conditions? Answer that question, and you can begin to climb yourself out of the hole that we’ve dug.

            Peace, out!


      2. Scott White Apr 26, 2011

        hahhaha. Looking at salaries and pensions aren’t the solution??? Just ask the city of Bell if that is not the solution. Idiot!

        1. Ankur Patel Apr 26, 2011

          No, salaries and pensions aren’t the whole solution, they are part of the solution.

          The broader more powerful solution is to actually understand who our elected officials are, what powers they wield, and the laws that they pass.

          77 of the 80 State Assemblymen make less than $100,000/year. Even if they made $0 that would be $8,000,000 saved versus a $25,000,000,000 deficit. Chancellor Reed’s salary + benefits comes to $550,000 (and that is rounded up). If you actually want to do research on every single state employee’s salary and pension, you might be on to something… are you willing to put in that sort of work?

          Reforming pensions and salaries can not be done through name calling.

      3. Vlad Apr 27, 2011

        The ballot initiative isn’t about what is legal, but how to educate “the takers” from voting for something that the “makers” have no viable means to produce.

        When more people vote that take from the system, than provide input to the system, bankruptcy will always ensue.

        “This is what Democracy looks like” – Chaos & Anarchy.

        Peace, out!


  3. Dakota Lopez Apr 25, 2011

    I hate to admit it but Chancellor “(g)Reed” is right. Why would he support any tax on anyone? Do those students realize that gas is almost $4.50 a gallon. If you tax the oil companies even more, gas prices will skyrocket again. It’s no accident that 48 states have cheaper gas than we do. It’s because taxes on oil companies in CA are high enough already. I can understand raising taxes on oil companies if gas was $1.60 a gallon like it used to, but prices are too high now.

    If you want real revenue sources, a renovated football stadium is recommended so that fans will be enthusiastic to go to football games if CSUN ever had a team. That will increase school pride and fresh revenue for CSUN. The reason why there was a lack of fan support in 2001 was because the stadium was horrible and the demographics were different (more anti-football people at the time)

    Props to Chancellor Reed and President Koester.

    The kid with the dodger hat is in one of my classes and he never knows what he’s talking about. He’s stutters every time he speaks that all you can pay attention to is how nervous he is.

    1. Ankur Patel Apr 25, 2011

      Dakota’s understanding of energy and tax policy is overly simplistic and uninformed.

      There are ~84,000,000 barrels of oil produced per day in the world. California produced ~550,000 barrels per day in 2009 [http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hi…]. At $100 a barrel, the oil industry is worth more than an $8,000,000,000 a day. A few million dollars in annual tax would not do anything to the real market dynamics.

      The factors that go into the cost of such a valuable, taxed, fought over, regulated commodity like oil [–>gasoline] is something that can’t be discussed without a broad understanding of the entire oil [and energy] industry. Kilowatt or kilowhat?

      To prove that football is going to make money in Northridge isn’t as simple as saying the demographics are different now.

      1. Dakota Lopez Apr 26, 2011

        Perhaps you should take a business class because you know nothing about oil or bringing revenue to the school.

        1. Ankur Patel Apr 26, 2011

          Bring information to the table, otherwise you are just wasting space. You learn through doing research and critical analysis, not necessarily by sitting in a class regurgitating information in order to get an A.


          I don’t know a lot about oil, but the fact that I know who the top 15 producers and importers are shows that I am open to learning and researching on my own, which then allows me to have intelligent conversations — as opposed to name calling.

      2. Anonymous Apr 26, 2011

        @ Ankur The fact of the matter is oil is going up so much because oil or petrol is not just something that is used in autos, but a bio byproduct meaning that oil is in things plastic an the body of a car, and so many other things. I do not support these baseless gas increases, but the US has the right idea in going after some of these thugs in the middle east that have money and ultimately run OPEC!

        Football will make money in the late 90’s and early 2000’s CSUN was going to develop the whole North Campus area into an entertainment center for not just CSUN, but the entire valley. If anything the demographics have changed in a favorable sense since the last push to utilize North Campus.

        1. Why is it that almost no one who talks about the skyrocketing price of gas fails to mention two important issues?:

          1: Primarily because of our politicians we’re in an inflationary period and oil is traded in dollars. (Food and clothing prices are going up as well.)
          2: Obama’s policies restricting the extraction of oil in the U.S. are driving up the price: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704415104576250521930069848.html

          1. Ankur Patel Apr 26, 2011

            Inflation! Biggest scam of them all.

            How does Ben Bernanke go infront of congress and,with a straight face, tell us that inflation is at an all time low after the Federal Reserve’s $600,000,000,000 of quanititative easing [read: printing money]?

            Inflation is no longer beholden to the simple concept of how many dollars are chasing how many goods [inflation is increasing if there are more dollars chasing the same amount of goods].

            Inflation is now tied to the consumer price index (CPI), which is a basket of goods whose price determines if we have inflation or not.

            Then they have a term called “core inflation” — this term is a basket of goods that doesn’t include food or energy!

            The reason why the price of basic goods stay relatively low here, in America, is because we take food out of the hands and mouths of people around the world through commodities trading and missiles.

          2. Vlad Apr 27, 2011


            I was extremely impressed with this post, until your last paragraph. That is nonsense.

            Please provide “facts” to back your assertion. Hyperbole, while energizing, has no place in a conversation, if the assertion being made can’t be backed with facts.

            Peace, out!


            BTW, why do think that Obama speaks about punishing “the Rich” and helping the poor, while at the same time pursuing monetary policies that punish the very people that he claims to be wanting to help?

        2. Ankur Patel Apr 26, 2011

          Thugs that we have supported with military equipment…

    2. Riot Grrrl Apr 27, 2011

      “Why would he support a tax on anyone?” Are you serious? If you seriously think that gas has gone up because oil companies are feeling the economic hardships as the working class people in this country then, you are need to do some serious research and analysis on what is really going on. You are being spoon fed information by media outlets owned by these corporations. Such a shame, and on top of that a football stadium, ignorance truly is bliss in your case.

    3. Ashleenichole88 May 4, 2011

      @Dakota- Can you explain how a speech impairment means that a person does not know what they are talking about and also means that they are nervous? Speech impairments (such as stutters) are developed when individuals are infants and are neither genetic or instilled in individuals they are simply born that way. I happen to know the young man in the Dodger hat as you describe… and yes he has a small stutter but compared to his speech impairment as a youth it has improved a lot and I also know he is great in academics. That being said, you are obviously an ignorant individual who judges based on outside tactics of people rather than sitting down to actually get to know another person who may speak a little different, look a little different, and not run in your same social circle but is still a person- who has feelings. Also, what is your excuse for not being able to conduct a proper sentence?

      “He’s stutters every time he speaks that all you can pay attention to is how nervous he is.”


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