State cuts close CSU’s doors

The Transfer Center is located on the first floor of the Science Hall where students go to get counseling and information on transferring to a university. ISAAC CRUMMEY / THE GUARDSMAN
The Transfer Center is located on the first floor of the Science Hall where students go to get counseling and information on transferring to a university. ISAAC CRUMMEY / THE GUARDSMAN

By Don Clyde
STAFF WRITER

California State University’s decision to reject most admission applications for the spring 2010 term will impact hundreds of City College students and may further stress the school’s resources.

The decision was made in order to tackle its $584 million budget reduction. CSU campuses operating on the quarter system stopped accepting applications for the winter term as of July 6, 2009.

Public higher-education institutions across California took massive hits in order to close California’s $26.3 billion deficit for 2009-2010.

Students who planned to enroll at CSU campuses during the spring 2010 semester will now need to decide whether to stay at City College, join the work force or consider other options, according to Leslie Smith, City College associate vice chancellor of governmental relations.

“If one-third of the students are accepted to CSU in the spring, the impact could be tremendous,” Smith said.

Data from the Office of Research, Planning and Grants at City College shows that about one-third of City College students who transfer to CSU do so during the spring term. During spring 2008, 462 City College students enrolled at CSU and another 601 enrolled during spring 2007, research officer Steve Spurling said.

City College plans to cut 800 total classes during 2009-2010 to meet its own budget shortfall of $18-$20 million. About 270 classes were cut for fall 2009 and the additional 530 classes will be cut in spring 2010.

Smith says that classes might fill up quickly if full-time students once destined for the CSU 2010 spring term decide to stay at City College, especially given the large number of class cuts scheduled.

“Given our reduced state funding and the fact that we have been forced to cut the number of classes we offer, if students cannot gain access to other institutions and need to turn to City College, they may not be able to gain access to the classes they need,” said Peter Goldstein, vice chancellor of finance and administration. Enrollment at City College is higher than it has ever been, according to Goldstein.

Even though student demand for spring classes is enormous, some classes may be salvaged through unique ideas such as private sponsorship of individual sections, Smith said.

The admission cuts are just part of CSU’s push to slash enrollment over its 23 campuses by 40,000 students during 2010-2011, CSU spokesman Erik Fallis said. CSU campuses typically accept about 35,000 students during the spring term.

CSU is currently accepting admission applications for the fall 2010 term.

“Apply as early as possible and try to apply to as many local campuses as you can,” Fallis said. Prospective students can visit http://www.csumentor.edu for application information.

Greg Smith, associate vice president for planning and enrollment management at CSU East Bay, wants to help transfer students increase their chances of getting into CSU East Bay in fall 2010.

“We’re going to work with community college transfer students to make sure they’ve completed all the required courses to enroll,” he said.

CSU East Bay is one of the few exceptions to the spring and winter 2010 enrollment cuts. But the campus is only accepting a total of 500 enrollees for the combined spring and winter terms. Furthermore, those 500 enrollees will only be accepted in the following majors: business administration, engineering, geology, mathematics, physics and statistics. There is no application deadline, but applications will not be accepted after the 500 are enrolled.

Enrollment reduction is not the only thing CSU is doing to save money. Fallis said mandatory furloughs for CSU’s 47,000 employees would save an additional $275 million. He also said fall 2009 full-time undergraduate fees rose by twenty percent. This fee increase is added to the ten percent fee increase undergraduates adopted last May. The fee increases would raise an estimated $157 million.