The California State University system announced that 15 campuses will freeze applications for Spring 2013 and wait-list all applicants until next fall in response to a $750 million budget cut.
Admissions for the 2013-2014 school year are contingent on the success of Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed tax initiative during the upcoming November election. The system will enroll between 20,000 and 25,000 fewer students for the 2013-14 school year — approximately a three percent cut — if the tax initiative fails to pass.
Second-year Irvine Valley College student Emmanuel Chang said he planned to transfer to CSU Long Beach next year as a nursing major, but now must seek out private colleges.
“I feel upset because, ultimately, there’s nothing I can do about it,” Chang said. “Right now my family just took a huge and necessary step by buying a house, so our financial situation isn’t that stable. Yes, I’m aware that private colleges are more expensive, but at this point we really don’t have that much of a choice. I want to be a nurse and I need an education.”
The eight CSU campuses maintaining their enrollment — Channel Islands, Chico, East Bay, Fullerton, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Bernardino and Sonoma — will accept several hundred transfer students who complete the Associate Degree for Transfer under Senate Bill 1440 for the Spring 2013 Semester.
Though the system has raised tuition annually for the past six years, CSU Board of Trustees spokesperson Mike Uhlenkamp said student fees are unable to offset deficits in state funding.
“Our mission is to serve and provide student access to admissions, but as we’re getting cut by the state more and more, it becomes increasingly difficult to do that,” Uhlenkamp said. “There’s a fine line in balancing what we’re trying to do and we’re struggling to make these decisions. At some point, we just can’t enroll students. The worst thing we can do is bring in more people and not be able to give classes to anyone.”
According to CSU Public Affairs Assistant Liz Chapin, the University’s previous cost-cutting measures included expanding class sizes and faculty teaching times, restricting travel, deferring maintenance, combining administrative functions and decreasing the total number of faculty and staff by over 3,000 people.
“We must take these measures in order to survive,” Chapin said. “We need to be sure campuses can adequately serve the current amount of students.”
CSU trustees are simultaneously planning to approve a 10 percent pay increase for incoming presidents at the Fullerton and East Bay campuses.
Uhlenkamp said the purpose behind the salary boosts is to entice qualified candidates to fill the open positions.
“We’re trying to provide competitive compensation to secure the services of the best individuals for these positions,” Uhlenkamp said. “Unfortunately, with the economy and where it’s at right now, the [raises] are looked at in a terrible light.”