Spring 2011


State Higher Ed Faces Severe Budget Cuts

EVEN AS THE ECONOMY is starting to recover, California’s public universities are facing severe budget cuts in the upcoming year. State leaders are working to address an estimated $28 billion shortfall. In January, newly elected Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a $500 million reduction for both the California State University system (which includes HSU) and the University of California system. The governor also proposed a $400 million reduction for the state’s community colleges.

Funding for each CSU student As state support declines, students shoulder an increasing share of the cost of their education.

The cuts would reduce CSU funding to about $2.2 billion, the same level as 1999 even as the system serves 70,000 more students. And it may be a “best case” scenario. The governor plans to ask voters to extend temporary tax increases, and has warned that higher education could face additional cuts if the effort fails.

CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed said the impact will be felt well beyond the campuses. “While we understand the administration has limited options, higher education is the state’s main economic driver, and we cannot improve our economy without an educated workforce,” he said. “The magnitude of the budget reduction in one year will have serious impacts on the state’s economy, limit access for students seeking entrance into our universities, and restrict classes and services for our current students.”

Collectively, the state’s three systems of public higher education graduate 272,000 students each year, and educate more than 3.5 million. The economic impact of CSU-related spending alone supports nearly 150,000 jobs and generates $1 billion in tax revenue for state and local governments.