SF State News {University Communications}

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Keeping the pressure on for higher education

Note: the following e-mail was sent on 1/11/10 to all faculty and staff.


Dear Colleague:

In his January 6, 2010 State of the State address, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger gave higher education the first hopeful news it has seen in recent years. Declaring that the State must realign its budget priorities to reflect that we value education above incarceration, the Governor committed to protecting funding for education in the state’s next budget.

As he noted, "Spending 45 percent more on prisons than universities is no way to proceed into the future. . . . What does it say about any state that focuses more on prison uniforms than on caps and gowns? It simply is not healthy." The Governor also proposed a constitutional amendment that would guarantee higher education at least ten percent of the State's general fund.

I know that many of you have already been advocating for SF State and higher education by contacting the Governor and your legislators. Thank you; your efforts are paying off. The backlash against further cuts to higher education has been overwhelming and your advocacy efforts must be credited for this statewide affirmation of priorities.  Now we must continue our efforts.  More than ever, we must make our voices heard. As faculty and staff, you are well aware of the hardships that the persistent underfunding of higher education has wrought on our community, starting with the 10 percent pay cut that you have had to absorb. This and the other sacrifices that you and our students have been required to make have not gone unnoticed, nor can they be allowed to continue.

I commend the Governor for recognizing the critically important role that higher education plays in building California. Nonetheless, his show of support does not mean that we are out of the woods.  We still face a significant deficit and routine underfunding. Last Friday, the Governor released his proposed 2010-11 budget. We are now assessing its impact on the California State University and on SF State specifically.  Over the next several months his proposals may be revised as he seeks to garner legislative support.  Thus, the spring will provide a critical opportunity to fight for a budget that provides us with the resources we need.

As our advocacy efforts progress, I will call on you to join me in standing up for the CSU, and for strong, accessible and affordable education. We must ensure that the legislature, too, recognizes that higher education is a priority for California. 

Robert A. Corrigan, president

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