Speakers urge ‘action’ by attendees to help restore $386 million to California State University budget

Camarillo, Calif., March 25, 2008 – Students, professors, administrators, staff, and others will gather on Thursday, March 27 at California State University Channel Islands to highlight the negative impacts the Governor’s proposed budget cut of $312.9 million for 2008/09 would have on the California State University’s 23-campus system. The proposed budget cuts come only three years after the CSU budget was reduced by more than $500 million during the 2002-03 and 2004-05 fiscal years. In addition, the $73.2 million in General Fund revenue needed to buy out a student fee increase is not included in this year’s proposed budget. The budget forum is part of an effort to detail the impacts to local campuses, and to encourage the entire CSU community to take part in a system-wide effort to urge lawmakers and the governor to restore the funding.

CSU Channel Islands President Richard R. Rush said the reduction would directly impact student access in the form of limits on enrollment, larger class sizes, less student support and potentially higher student fees. System-wide, the CSU estimates that the proposed reduction will reduce access by 10,000 students, and limit enrollment to 2007/08 levels.

“The CSU has still not recovered from previous budget cuts, and all of the gains that we have made to increase enrollment in recent years, particularly students from underserved communities, will be devastated by another round of severe budget cuts,” Rush said.

Of particular concern for CSUCI is its leading role in graduating many of the region’s teachers, nurses, scientists, and business workers.

“Fully half of our 3,600 students are enrolled in these critical areas,” said Ted Lucas, Provost at CSUCI. “The impending budget reductions mean that fewer graduates will enter the Ventura County workforce in these high-need areas at a time when all estimates point to an increasing demand for them in the next decade.”

“During the previous budget reductions, we made every effort to make necessary cuts away from the classroom,” Rush said.  “There’s no place left to cut without turning away thousands of qualified students and limiting course options for current students.”

Speakers at the March 27 event will include Rush, Lucas, local faculty, staff union representatives, and student representatives, all of whom are expected to encourage attendees to join a CSU-wide grassroots effort to prevent the funding cuts from taking effect by making phone calls and sending emails to their state representatives and stressing the CSU’s value to our economy.

“The message we need to send to lawmakers and the governor is, ‘CSU is the solution,’” Rush said, noting that the CSU generates $4.41 in economic activity for every state dollar invested in the economy. “Before any final budget decisions are made, we need to make sure state leaders understand that a $300 million reduction in CSU funding translates into a loss of $1 billion in future economic activity in California.”

Summit attendees will be encouraged to visit the budget feature on the CSU Web site to stay informed about the budget process and learn how to communicate with the governor and lawmakers.

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands
(CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CI's Social Media.

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