Next Tuesday I join Ben Ford, Chair of SSU's Academic Senate; Alex Boyar, President of SSU's Associated Students; Dan Condron, SSU's Vice President for University Affairs; CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed; and other education, business and community leaders in Sacramento.
We will be meeting with legislators to advocate against further budget cuts to the CSU. Already facing a $500 million reduction in funding, the CSU could face double that amount for 2011-12 if the Governor's proposed tax extensions are rejected.
That would be an unprecedented cut that will cause long term damage to the campuses of the CSU and could mean a $16 million budget reduction for Sonoma State University. That would be a devastating reduction for Sonoma and represents a 28 percent cut in our appropriation from the State of California.
The governor and legislature have already approved a budget that will reduce CSU funding by $500 million for the 2011-12 fiscal year. In response to the initial cut, the CSU had announced that it will enroll fewer students this fall, and will apply an estimated $146 million from tuition increases already approved for fall 2011 to the budget reductions.
Across the system, campuses will be asked to reduce their budgets by an additional $281 million ($7 million for SSU), and the Chancellor's office will be cut by $10.8 million or 14 percent.
In his May revision of his January budget, the governor also warned that if his proposed temporary tax extensions are rejected, the CSU would face the additional $500 million cut, bringing the total to $1 billion.
Earlier this month, the CSU outlined a contingency plan of action to address such an "all cuts" budget. Under this plan, the CSU said each campus would waitlist applications for winter and spring 2012 and consider an additional tuition fee increase of up to 32 percent.
Under this worst case scenario, CSU estimates it could turn away 20,000 qualified applicants who would otherwise enroll for the winter/spring 2012 terms.
These are challenging times. I continue to appreciate your commitment to educational excellence particularly given the level of financial issues we face and send best wishes for the last few days of this semester.
For those students who are graduating next Saturday, my warmest congratulations to you.