The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Gov. Brown’s budget cut to affect CSU funding

CSU officials sound hopeful for the future of CSU schools, despite a $500 million cut in state support an 18 percent reduction, announced in Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2011-2012 budget proposal.

CSUN Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Harry Hellenbrand, said he understands that facing a $28 billion deficit is not an easy task.

“Doing the right thing does not always mean we are going to like it,” he said.  “Californians tend to want gold rush solutions; this is at least an imaginable one and more practical than the ideas several other politicians have proposed in the past.”

CSU Media Relations Specialist Erik Fallis said the proposed budget would have been more appropriate more than 10 years ago.

“Although the CSU system supports 70,000 more students now than in 2000, this budget proposal sets us back to 1999-2000 levels, with only $2.2 billion in state support.”

While schools were preparing to add enrollment after a slight restoration of $199 million, and an additional $60.6 million towards enrollment growth in 2010, they are back to possibly having to cut enrollment for incoming freshman once again.

“It is a priority to take as many new students as we are allowed.  CSUN would also lose the student’s tuition and state funding for that student if they are not admitted, so it just does not make sense for us,” Hellenbrand said.

Fallis was asked how prepared CSU schools were for the cuts announced in Gov. Brown’s budget proposal.

“As a rule we try to not make predictions about the budget.  Besides, there is no way to prepare for a $500 million cut,” Fallis said.

Hellenbrand said it is the size of the budget cuts that is surprising.

“We were expecting a sizable cut, especially after the two-year $625 million reduction announced in the 2009-2010 budget, but we did not expect such a large amount all at once,” Hellenbrand said

Gov. Brown’s budget proposal is also based on the assumption that voters will extend for five years a tax increase that was enacted in 2009.

While the size of the cuts will not be clear for another month, Gov. Brown has said a $500 million cut for CSU schools, $1.4 billion for California’s public higher education institutions as a whole, is a best-case scenario.

Fallis said he hopes students will work hard to inform the general public that CSU schools are invaluable, and that public universities are economic engines, providing the education of over 150,000 California jobs.

“My advice to new students is to do the research; meet the requirements for the school you are applying to, meet deadlines, and remember local area preference, which most schools give consideration to,” he added.

Hellenbrand and economic professor Robert Krol agreed that Gov. Brown has upset both Democrats and Republicans with his budget proposal.

“Hopefully this shows that he is really trying to make long term changes in California, rather than favoring one side over the other,” Krol said.

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