Students, professors upset SJSU decides to cut classes

SAN JOSE, Calif.

On Wednesday teachers and students sounded off. They're angry about the university's plan to hit their budget goals by slashing classes and cutting jobs because when voters approved Prop 30 last year, it was supposed to put an end to cuts at the state universities.

"One of the goals of the president was to return to a balanced baseline budget," said Ellen Junn, the SJSU provost.

An on-campus meeting was held Wednesday to outline the situation. Class offerings would be slashed to deal with a budget deficit of about $3.8 million. The provost argues the move is actually a routine adjustment and should not really be seen as a cut, but many in the room weren't buying that.

"Nobody knows that they could be signing up for classes that are gone in spring. Classes that will not exist," said SJSU student Leeta-Rose Ballester.

"We asked very straight forward questions and we didn't quite hear straight forward answers," said Professor Bob Rucker, who says he and his students were caught off guard by the university's plan. "The numbers are fine, we'll work with you on that, but how about asking us, 'How does this affect people?'"

That's a question the provost was asked repeatedly in the meeting. She didn't answer it for her staff and students and she wouldn't answer it for ABC7 News either.

"They won't give me any answers. I want to talk to who decided to cut the courses rather than cut the funding to the student union being rebuilt and all the construction," said SJSU student Marcella Cage.

The budget cuts will be system-wide and the university isn't saying how many classes they plan to slash. Those caught in the middle are the professors who may see colleagues lose their jobs and students sign up for classes that the university may decide later to cut.

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