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Higher Ed Woes Continue Statewide: Furloughs, Fee Hikes, Closed Admissions

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UCLA's campus (Photo by legge e mare via Flickr)

UCLA's campus (Photo by legge e mare via Flickr)
The upcoming school year at California's two major public University systems continues to look bleak for students, faculty, and staff alike, as budget shortfalls are forcing school officials to recommend fee increases, furlough days, and enrollment stoppages in order to save costs.The University of California Board of Regents is prepping to approve an emergency plan proposed yesterday that would see their professors and staff taking "between 11 and 26 unpaid furlough days a year, cutting their pay by 4% to 10%," according to the LA Times, arranged according to position on a 7-tiered pay scale. Unions have already expressed opposition to the plan, much like the reaction to a 2-Fridays-a-month shut down of campuses in the California State University system touted by their Board of Trustees in a recent emergency meeting.

The CSU has also decided to recommend a tuition increase of 20%, after suggesting they might do so in the 15-20% range, and just announced that they will not accept any new students in the Winter/Spring 2011 session, system-wide. While the UC schools raised tuition last may, they have said they would not introduce an additional fee hike as part of this latest attempt to address budget cuts.

Enrollment caps and freezes, furlough days, decreased resources and services, and increased tuition have an undeniable impact on students, and UC and CSU faculty and officials are not attempting to deny this reality: "No way are we going to be able to look every student in the eyes and say the University of California is just the way it was yesterday," said the UC's President Mark G. Yudof.

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Although tuition might be up, if enrollment is limited, that means less incoming funds to help support on-campus services, like Student Health Centers, for example. The Daily News quotes Terry Piper, CSUN's vice president for student affairs: "It's a difficult time for everyone. It's unfortunate that the state is in financial crisis and everyone is going to be affected."

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