Mar 18, 2008 - Jarad Petroske
Arcata – Humboldt State University will hold an all-campus meeting to enlist legislative support for the California State University system on Monday, March 24, from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the Kate Buchanan Room at University Center.
A student rally on the Quad will follow the forum, which will center on the governor’s proposal to cut the CSU’s budget for Fiscal 2008/2009 by $386 million and hike student fees by 10% — the sixth time in seven years, totaling 114% since 2002.
The all-campus summit is part of a statewide effort called “Alliance for the CSU,” uniting students, staff, faculty, alumni, administrators and education advocates to minimize the proposed budget cuts. Humboldt State’s share of the system-wide $386 million reduction is $7.3 million. It comes on the heels of $522 million in CSU rollbacks from 2002 to 2005.
Announcing the all-campus meeting, HSU President Rollin Richmond said, “We must work together to convince legislators and the governor that the CSU is not an expense, but an investment in California’s future.”
The Chancellor’s Office estimates that the $386 million cut will rob the state and its revenue coffers of $1 billion in economic return, even as the state’s hemorrhage of red ink is estimated at $16 billion to $24 billion. The 23-campus CSU system constitutes an ample part of California’s social and economic backbone; it provides 65% of the state’s business professionals, 64% of its nurses, 89% of its criminal justice servants (police, firefighters) and 87% of its teachers and educators.
If the legislature adopts the governor’s budget, 10,000 qualified students will be denied access to the CSU and those shut out will come disproportionately from underrepresented communities, including Latinos and African Americans.
HSU’s local economic impact, direct and indirect, is valued at $301 million. The University sustains more than 8,000 Redwood Coast jobs and generates above $14 million per year in tax revenue. It graduates more than 1,500 students each year, including as many as 200 teachers and 50 nurses. HSU’s respected natural resource and science professionals are crucial to the governor’s sweeping energy and environmental preservation initiatives.
The March 24 meeting will spell out concrete steps individuals can take concerning the reductions. Among officials expected to attend are President Richmond, Provost Bob Snyder, Associated Students President Terra Rentz, Staff Council Co-chairs Val Arizzi and Laura Weare, Robin Meiggs of the Humboldt Chapter of the California Faculty Association, Jerry Saner of the Humboldt Chapter of the CSU Employees Union and representatives of the Statewide University Police Association.
The Alliance for the CSU can be reached at http://allianceforthecsu.org. The new Humboldt State Advocacy Center is at http://humboldt.kintera.org.
To stay current on all Budget news and information, visit the HSU Budget website.