In a desperate move to cut enrollment and save hundreds of millions of dollars, Cal State East Bay and all CSU campuses have canceled spring admissions, in 2013. It's just the first of several cost cutting measures trustees will make to close a $500 million budget gap and plan for another $200 million in potential cuts due to declines in state funding.
"I think it's horrible. I think it's going to be harder to graduate. My mom has to retire later now because it's harder to pay for me and my sister's education. So it's definitely going to be hard on my family. So it's kind of like trickling down," said Chancellor Smith, a student.
As it is, CSU students have had three tuition increases in one year. In 2010-11, a CSU undergraduate paid $4,872 per year, this year it's $6,333 -- an increase of 23 percent. Besides canceling spring admissions to cut enrollment by 20,000 students, trustees will consider increasing class sizes, eliminating classes and programs, and laying off workers.
"It's already a horrible tragedy, and going forward, the thought of additional cuts would really be catastrophic," said Kim Geron, CSU faculty member.
Some students are already having a tough time getting their classes.
"It's definitely affected me in a really horrible way. I can't get the classes that I need to begin to even know what kind of major I want to go into," said Brianna Gabriel, a student.
At the same time, the CSU trustees will likely approve a 10-percent pay increase for two new college presidents, including one at Cal State East Bay. Both will make well over $300,000 per year.
Meantime, in Sacramento, State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, has introduced a bill that would prohibit pay increases for top college administrators in bad budget years.