A Nov. 4 emailed letter from a San Jose State college dean to faculty and staff warns about looming budget cuts across the campus:
Dear (College of Applied Arts and Sciences) Colleagues,
As registration begins for spring semester 2014, I wanted to share some information about the current fiscal situation in the University and the College of Applied Sciences and Arts. I am sure you have heard rumors so I wanted to tell you myself. In a nutshell, by June 30, 2014, SJSU will have taken our second $16 plus million cut which will get us to balanced base budget. That's the good news. The not so good news is that in order to get there, all colleges and all departments/schools will have to make significant cuts in Spring 2014. And the cuts will not be one time. They will be base budget cuts.
As I said to you in an entire college message nearly a year ago, we have made progress in addressing our base budget structural budget deficit. Of the $32 plus million base budget deficit which President (Mohammad) Qayoumi identified when he arrived on campus, we took half of it last academic year. And now this year we must take the remaining cut ($16 plus million) so that we can have a balanced base budget by the end of the 2013-2014 academic year. Therefore, like last year, we will have to take a number of actions to cut our budget. Most notably, the number of class sections will be reduced. Department chairs and School Directors have been asked to combine class sections and increasing class sizes, yet still accommodate as many students as last year
In addition to the impact on students, our dedicated full-time faculty may find themselves without their typical class allocations. Some of our part-time faculty will lose part or all of their usual class assignments. In rare cases, part-time and full-time faculty may be asked to teach classes outside of their primary area of expertise.
While I wish this were not the case, these cuts will be permanent base reductions to the college and department/school budgets. Therefore I have been urging chairs and directors to work with faculty to generate creative solutions that will enable us to meet our FTES (full-time equivalent) targets with the reduced budget we have been allocated, while at the same time deliver quality instruction for our students. This is not an easy task, but one we must tackle as we move forward in this new budget environment.
To give everyone a chance to question, and also to discuss possible solutions and ideas for CASA moving forward, I will hold another "conversation with the Dean" on November 19 in MH 438 from 4:30 to 5:30 as a question and answer session. Melissa will schedule a time and get the word out to everyone. You are invited to come with questions and recommendations regarding the budget, as well as any other concerns. If that day and time is not good, we'll schedule more "conversations" between then and then end of the semester.
As always, I appreciate your strong dedication to our students, to CASA and to SJSU and look forward to doing the best we can together.
Charles C. Bullock, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Applied Sciences and Arts
San Jose State University