California Universities Face Heavy Budget Cuts Without New Tax Increases
The schools have been forced to cut their budgets for years now, and with the prospect of even more cuts ahead, school officials worry about the quality of education they are going to be able to offer students in the future.
Timothy White, chancellor of the University of California, Riverside, said, “I’d be lying if I said what we offer students hasn’t been changed and that there hasn’t been a degradation of the learning environment.”
The New York Times reports:
“While there are more students than ever, the number of academic advisers has dropped to 300, from 500 a few years ago, for more than 18,000 undergraduates. Courses that used to require four writing assignments now demand half that because professors have fewer assistants to help them with grading papers, something other campuses have implemented as well.
“Nathan Brostrom, executive vice president of business operations for the University of California, said the system was now in the middle of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. In the last year, the state has cut $750 million from the system’s budget. This year, for the first time, the system receives more money from tuition than from state aid — but that only makes up for roughly a quarter of the cuts from the state. Over all, the budget is the same as it was in 2007, when there were 75,000 fewer students enrolled.”
If the proposed tax increase is not passed this year, officials worry that their ability to provide any education, let alone high-quality education, to deserving and eligible students will deteriorate drastically. There is a possibility that one of the universities may even have to be shut down.