SF State News {University Communications}

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Join campus forum on proposed budget cuts

March 14, 2008 -- The campus community will come together to counter the Governor’s proposed budget cuts at a special University-wide meeting on Monday, March 17.

Photo of students walking on campus.Proposed cuts to the FY2008/09 California State University budget will be the subject of a special forum, organized by a broad coalition of the SF State community, on Monday, March 17, from 12:10 to 1:30 p.m. in McKenna Theatre.

While final decisions about the FY2008/09 budget are months away, a coalition of unions, students, University administration, faculty and the Academic Senate are joining forces to persuade the broader community to act now to protect SF State. Robert A. Corrigan, president of SF State, will join key allies at the forum: Roberta Achtenberg, chair of the CSU Board of Trustees; Ramon Castellblanch, president of the CFA Chapter/SEIU 1983/AAUP/NEA; Melinda Guzman, CSU trustee; Russell Kilday-Hicks, president of CSUEU Chapter 305/SEIU 2579; James Kohn, chair of the Academic Senate; and Abtin Forghani, vice president of external affairs for Associated Students Inc.

The purpose of the forum is to share information about the impact of California’s budget crisis and the Governor’s proposed budget cuts on the CSU and SF State and to plan a course of action to reverse those cuts.

“Whatever our final budget, we will be guided by our main principle: to protect students and the academic program to the fullest extent possible. This approach will shape every decision we make,” Corrigan said.

The Governor’s proposed cuts to the CSU would mean a loss of $386 million, of which $313 million is a reduction in General Fund support and $73 million reflects a cut in support that would keep student fees at their current level. The Governor’s proposal also eliminates any funding for enrollment growth.

“We have the opportunity -- and I would say, the obligation -- to raise our collective voices strongly and make such a persuasive case for our University and the CSU that we affect a change to the apparent course of action,” Corrigan said.

“It is no exaggeration to say that our state’s future depends in very large measure on the California State University,” Corrigan said. “This economic threat to the best public higher education system in the nation has been years in the making.”

Corrigan cites consistent under-funding of the CSU over years despite its direct role in supporting the state’s economy, the world’s eighth largest. Twenty years ago more than 12 percent of the general revenue expenditures went to support the University of California and the California State University. Today’s expenditures total barely six percent.

All faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend the meeting and add their voices to finding a solution to counter the proposed budget cuts. To read the latest information, please visit the Budget Central Web site.

-- Nan Broadbent


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