Like all of the departments at UCSB, Career Services has had its budget cut with the recession: 15 percent last year, an estimated 20 percent this year, and an anticipated 15 percent next year. That’s half our budget in three years.
Through cutting our non-essential costs, charging employers for services and exhausting our savings, we have been able to maintain services at the level students are used to, which includes some level of service to over half the student population. But we will be unable to continue this level of service after June without help. Without additional funding, we will need to cut our staff, reducing services to students by approximately 25 percent. One in four students who use our services would no longer be able to. With the job market as crippled as it is, this would be devastating.
We are working to put a fee initiative on the Spring ballot, enabling students to determine for themselves what level of Career Service they want. We will be asking students to “tax” themselves $5.55 per quarter to retain existing services (Of that money, $4.12 goes to Career Services, $1.39 is for return to aid, to offset the cost for financial aid students, and $0.04 is an administrative tax). Students wanting to retain existing services would need to vote yes on the initiative. We could then continue to provide them with career testing and career planning classes; access to local, national and international internships; extensive digital and analog career information; assistance with applying to graduate programs, and the full range of services for seeking full- and part- time employment. We hope students agree with us that in a tough job market, a fully funded career center is worth the price of a couple of lattes.