CSU Trustees approve 20 percent fee hike

July 21, 2009 6:52:18 PM PDT
The state's budget situation means another fee increase for students in the California State University system. It took measures to close a shortfall of more than $500 million.

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Cal State University students protested outside the chancellor's office, but that didn't stop the board from approving a 20 percent fee hike on top of a 10 percent increase already approved in May.

"It could really affect me just as a student getting classes, where I'm living, what I'm going to eat and it affects everything," said SJSU student Nkemka Egbuho.

The fee hike will help close a $584 million dollar system wide budget gap. Starting this fall, fees go up $672 dollars, for an average undergraduate tuition of more than $4,800.

It's not just students feeling the impact. California State University faculty and staff are being asked to take those now infamous furlough days.

Trustees are asking for two unpaid days a month which amounts to a 10 percent pay cut. The state faculty association will have the results of its furlough vote later this week, but many employee groups have already said yes in a move intended to save jobs.

"With this economy nowadays, we try not to have anybody layoff," said SJSU employee Nolan Lui.

"I'd rather know I am saving other people and other people are saving me quite honestly," said SJSU employee Felicia McKee.

In another cost cutting move, enrollment in the 23 CSU campuses will be reduced about 10 percent over the next two years.

"That will limit access, that will change the way we operate, San Jose state in the fall will be a smaller place. We will have fewer students," said SJSU spokesperson Larry Carr.

Many argue the cuts to higher education will simply prolong the state's financial crisis by reducing the ranks of an educated workforce.

"It may sound cliché but we are the future and we need to get the education that we need to better our situation and to help our leaders and help us," said SJSU student Raquel Galindo.

Students will feel the budget impact when they return to school next month.

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