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Public Affairs

San Francisco State announces proposed cuts to academic programs

April 19, 2004

Responding to the Governor’s January budget proposal and California's fiscal crisis, San Francisco State University announced today a reduction plan to bridge a $22 million budget gap.

The plan calls for $10.3 million of cuts in Academic Affairs. They include discontinuance of five bachelor's and five master's degree programs, downsizing or limiting enrollment in some programs and moving some functions and services off the state-supported general fund to self-support.

"The grim task of identifying that magnitude of budget cuts with the resulting loss of services that can be provided to our students is agonizing," said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost John Gemello. "In making these difficult decisions, the Deans have made every effort possible to preserve academic programs."

This is the second consecutive year that San Francisco State University has faced a dramatic reduction in the state allocation. "In just two years we have lost more than $25 million in our base general fund budget," Gemello said, "pushing us beyond the point of making short-term fixes."

Programs recommended for discontinuance will be forwarded to the University's Academic Senate for deliberation, in accordance with University policy. The review process by the faculty governance body will take several months and could result in changes to the final plan, but Gemello stated that any deletions must be matched by an alternative source of equal savings so that the reductions total $10.3 million. The policy on Academic Program Discontinuance is available on the Academic Senate's Web site.

The current plan preserves all tenured and tenure-track faculty jobs as well as those of all staff with permanent status although some faculty would be moved to other programs or departments, as might some staff members. There will be a significant loss of lecturer positions. In addition, some vacant faculty and staff positions will be eliminated.

Specifics of the plan include:

  • Discontinue bachelor's degree programs in Interdisciplinary Social Science, Industrial Technology, Social Work, Dance and Russian.
  • Discontinue master's degree programs in Family and Consumer Sciences, Gerontology, Recreation and Leisure Studies, Kinesiology and Russian.
  • Discontinue the NEXA program (an interdisciplinary approach of teaching science and humanities) and the minor in California Studies.
  • Move programs to self-support: Master's programs in the College of Business, some Holistic Health and Physical Activity courses, the M.S. in Engineering, the Clinical Biological Laboratory Scientist Internship, and the Child Study Center.
  • Downsize General Education programs within the College of Health and Human Services and the College of Humanities, and limit growth of the bachelor’s degree in Engineering to its current degree programs and size.
  • Other programmatic impacts: Eliminate General Fund support for remedial courses in English and Mathematics (effective fall 2006); reduce budgets in non-college units and administrative units reporting directly to the provost; reduce size and scope of the Step to College program.

Still under review is a proposal to consolidate the University's number of colleges, which could save an estimated $800,000.

The budget reduction plan from Academic Affairs was released this week to the campus. Other University administrative units are taking permanent cuts to bring the total University reduction to $22 million.

Among these cuts are:

  • More than $2 million in management reduction
  • Elimination of $1.4 million in general fund support to Athletics
  • Reduction of $1 million in deferred maintenance
  • Reduction of $573,000 in work study matching funds
  • Transfer the Career Center off the general fund for a savings of $530,000
  • Elimination of the Office of Human Relations and reassignment of functions to other administrative offices for a savings of $402,000
  • Reorganization and consolidation of the Public Affairs and Publications offices, plus other reductions in Advancement, for savings of about $800,000

Gemello noted that this budget reduction target is based on the Governor's January budget proposal and the University will be forced to seek further reductions in Academic Affairs and other areas if it receives any further cuts from the Governor or Legislature later this year.

Some of the elements in the academic plan can be implemented immediately in the new fiscal year, but much of the plan comprises long-term strategies to take full effect in fall 2006. The near-term budget will be a combination of short-term and permanent strategies.

Discontinued programs will be phased out over several years, allowing currently enrolled students to complete their degrees. No new majors in areas under consideration for discontinuance will be accepted at this time.

San Francisco State University is a diverse, public university with more than 27,000 students enrolled this semester and nearly 1,650 faculty members and lecturers. The University awards bachelor’s degrees in 118 areas of specialization and master’s degrees in 96 areas. In addition, 27 credential programs and 34 certificate programs are offered.

-- SFSU press release 4/19/04

NOTE: Also see Provost Gemello's message to the campus community on the Academic Affairs budget reduction plan.


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Last modified July 27, 2004 by University Communications