Another Budget Cut

SSU Hit with $2.3 Million Loss from State Budget Tightening
December 13, 2011

Sonoma State University will be hit by an additional $2.3 million cut in its 2011-12 budget as a result of the triggers in the Caifornia state budget announced today by Governor Jerry Brown. 

SSU's budget cut is part of the California State University's loss of an additional $100 million for this year, on top of a $650 million reduction already in place, due to lower-than-projected state revenues. 

SSU President Ruben Arminana says the additional $100 million permanent reduction to the CSU budget represents "another major hardship for SSU and its students."

"The University's budget will now suffer cuts totaling more than $11.5 million this year alone," he says. "This has a serious negative impact to the future of California." 

SSU will be able to cope with the cuts announced today as a result of one-time funds that had already been set aside to deal with the triggers. 

This strategy was discussed with and agreed to by the University's Cabinet and the President's Budget Advisory Committee.

Chief Financial Officer Laurence Furukawa-Schlereth says funds to deal with a permanent reduction have not been identified but the campus had been engaged in on-going planning and analysis regarding this possibility. 

"Our efforts will continue in this area in concert with other budget reduction strategies and cost-saving measures that may be identified at the system-wide level," he says.

The additional cut reduces CSU funding to $2 billion and represents a 27 percent year-to-year reduction in state support.

"It is disheartening to say the least when your budget is cut by an initial $650 million, but to face an additional $100 million reduction mid-year makes things extremely challenging," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. 

"We were aware that this was a possibility, and our campuses have been planning accordingly. However, the uncertainty of the overall fiscal outlook for the state is not encouraging, and the CSU has run out of good options."

The $2 billion in state funding allocated to the CSU for the 2011-2012 budget is the lowest level of state support the system has received since 1997-1998, but the university currently serves an additional 90,000 compared to that year.

The CSU had previously announced that it will not raise tuition mid-year, even with the additional $100 million cut. 

To get through the remaining months of this fiscal year, campuses will need to take short-term measures such as drawing on one-time reserves, delaying equipment purchases and facility maintenance work. 

However, starting with the next fiscal year, extremely difficult longer-term tradeoffs will have to be considered, including the possibility of additional cuts to academic programs or further increases in tuition.