Stanislaus State's bottom line $6M less

In choice of faculty or classes, summer, fall curriculum suffer

May 28, 2009 

TURLOCK -- Students will have fewer course choices and find themselves in more crowded classrooms this summer, as California State University, Stanislaus, slashes more than 6 percent of its budget.

Nearly half the summer course offerings have been axed, and officials plan to reduce the fall schedule by 5 percent.

Student body president Andrew Janz said cutting the summer schedule was necessary to keep more fall and spring courses and allow full-time faculty to keep their jobs.

"We had to pick between one or the other," Janz said Thursday. "There are just sacrifices we have to make during these bad budget times."

President Hamid Shirvani this week presented a $6.2 million package of cuts from the university's $96 million budget for next year.

The failure of the state ballot initiatives could mean an additional $5.7 million hit to CSU, Stanislaus, in 2009-10 if the CSU system or the state fail to intervene.

"Our back is to the wall," said Suzanne Green, interim vice president of business and finance.

University officials said students will have fewer choices this summer and fall but that they plan to keep offering the courses necessary to keep students on track for graduation.

"We're making every effort not to slow down their process for degree," Provost William Covino said.

Janz suggested scaling back the university's winter term program, a one-month session that allows students to focus on a single class, during which they often participate in special programs.

University employees are on the chopping block as well. Four managers and an administrative support worker will lose their jobs. Seven vacant management positions and 12 administrative support vacancies will be cut from the budget.

Part-time lecturers will be especially vulnerable this summer, as the university decides how to trim the cost of those employees by $1.85 million. The lecturers, who make up 40 percent of the CSUS faculty, could lose their jobs or be given fewer courses.

"We could not absorb this magnitude of reduction and expect that we would continue operating as we have in the past," Shirvani said in a letter to faculty and staff.

Shirvani pointed out there were no cuts to permanent employees.

Officials expect to reap $60,000 in savings over the summer by shuttering a science building and raising the thermostats in buildings from 72 to 78 degrees.

Bee staff writer Merrill Balassone can be reached at mbalassone@modbee.com or 578-2337.

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