Fees go up. Faculty get no raises. And now the California State University system is turning away students. CSU's will accept student applications at only 10 campuses for the spring 2012 semester, the system announced yesterday.
Even those 10 campuses will limit new applications mostly to students who are transferring from California community colleges with associate degrees.
For the spring 2013 application period only Channel Islands, Chico, Fullerton, East Bay, Humboldt, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Francisco and Sonoma will take applications from new students.
CSU Chief Academic Officer Ephraim Smith blamed the new policy on budget cuts. "Ongoing reductions in state funding are forcing campuses to reduce enrollment to match the level of available funds," he said.
The university has no plans to increase enrollment or reduce tuition, even if a proposition to raise state taxes passes on the November ballot, because the CSU system will only be able to maintain its current funding with that revenue.
But if the measure fails, the CSU will look for new places to chop because the budget will lose an additional $250 million. In that event, the system will have lost almost $1.2 billion or 39 percent of its state support since 2007-08.
What more could they cut?
At their September meeting, CSU trustees are expected to discuss a contingency plan with options including payroll cost cuts, another tuition increase, and enrollment reductions, among other snipping and slicing.
Practically the only cutting not on the table are presidents' salaries. Those went up recently, partly on the reasoning that these cutbacks have made the job more stressful.
In the meantime, students who have earned an "associate degree for transfer" can begin submitting applications starting August 1, with the priority application period extending through August 31.