California's higher education system got another big blow in yesterday's budget bloodbath.
Gov. Jerry Brown announced a round of “trigger cuts,” mid-year reductions taken when state revenues don't meet initial projections. This year, there's a $2.2 billion shortfall, and Brown cut $1 billion. More slashing may come.
Taking the hit are public colleges and universities — CSU and UC will each lose $100 million, in addition to the $650 million cut at the beginning of the fiscal year. Community colleges must say goodbye to $102 million for a total annual loss of $502 million.
Leaders say the school systems are at their breaking point.
“We were aware that this was a possibility, and our campuses have been planning accordingly,” CSU Chancellor Charles Reed said in a statement. However, the uncertainty of the overall fiscal outlook for the state is not encouraging, and the CSU has run out of good options.”
In a statement, UC President Mark Yudof promised that in spite of the cuts, there would be no mid-year tuition increases. Instead, the university will draw from its employee health care reserve fund, on hand in case the cost of health care rises substantially.
Yudof called on Brown to refrain from any additional cuts to higher education. “Faculty and staff have sacrificed,” he wrote, “and our students in particular have given more than their fair share.”