California continues to face one of the greatest budget crises in state history, Cal State Northridge officials said last week. Even after a year in which the university's budget was reduced by $28 million in 2003/04, Northridge faces many unknowns in preparation for 2004/05.
"Cal State Northridge supports the position of the CSU Chancellor's Office that, while the governor's proposed 7.3 percent cut to the budget—after the fee increase—is challenging and limiting, we recognize the reality of the current environment and will be able to manage these cuts based on two conditions," said Mo Qayoumi, vice president for administration and finance.
"The first condition is that there are no additional cuts to the governor's proposed budget that would further reduce the Cal State Northridge budget," he said. "The second is that we are given the flexibility to manage the cuts in the best interests of the university, rather than a mandate to cut certain areas."
President Jolene Koester has stated that the university's top budget priority is to avoid layoffs, and that if there are no additional budget cuts beyond what the governor's budget proposes, there will be no layoffs of tenure and tenure track faculty or of full time permanent staff.
If Cal State Northridge is given the flexibility to manage its budget cuts, she said, EOP and outreach programs would not be targeted for cuts beyond those faced by other programs on campus.
Barring additional reductions to the governor's proposed budget, the current cut would mean a loss of about $19.7 million to the Cal State Northridge budget. Based on those figures, the university's enrollment target—as set by the CSU system for fall 2004—has dropped by 5 percent from 24,392 to 23,172 full-time equivalent students (FTES).
Although the university suffered a mid-year budget cut of $1.7 million in 2003/04, Vice President Qayoumi said a campus contingency fund will cover these reductions.
"We are still very early in the budget process," the vice president said. "We will continue to communicate that high-quality, accessible higher education is vital to California's economic prosperity and that ensuring proper funding for the CSU will bring long-term benefits to the state."
@csun | February 2, 2004 issue
Public Relations | University Advancement
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