Patt Morrison for March 23, 2011

Cal State prepares for the worst as higher education in California barely hangs on

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Michael Ocampo /Flickr

Empty classroom at San Fransisco State University.

The motto of the California State University system is Vox Veritas Vita, which means “voice truth life.” The truth facing the beleaguered CSU system is the lives its students, faculty, support employees and the life of the system itself will be challenged in the face of huge budget cuts. The CSU Board of Trustees put forth their budget plan yesterday, anticipating $500 million in cuts from state funding, which proposed cutting enrollment by 10,000 students next year, laying off Cal State employees and faculty and asking for additional cuts of almost $300 million from the individual campuses. As bad as the news was, it could still get worse—the $500 million cut in state funding could be much more if voters don’t approve an extension of tax increases put before them by Gov. Brown. CSU students already have trouble finishing a bachelor’s degree within five years and with further class and resource reductions it won’t get any easier. Can Cal State survive as a viable high education institution?

Guests:

Robert Turnage, assistant vice chancellor for budget at the California State University system

Christopher Chavez, president of the California State Student Association & a student at Cal State Long Beach

Lillian Taiz, professor of history at Cal State Los Angeles & president of the California Faculty Association


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