SAN JOSE -- San Jose State's president on Thursday backed away from a plan to cut classes next semester.
President Mo Qayoumi's reversal followed an outcry a over last-minute directive that some departments scale back spring offerings. Some department heads said they were told late last week, days before registration, that they needed to immediately cut tens of thousands of dollars to stay within their budgets.
But on Thursday, Qayoumi released a statement announcing that the campus will use "one-time funds allocated to campus infrastructure and other projects" to make up the difference -- estimated to be about $3.8 million -- this year.
"Although academic programs across the university were on a path to exceed their total budget by the end of the spring 2014 semester, I am fully committed to ensuring that our students have access to the classes they need," he said. "I am taking this action to help our students continue progressing toward their degrees."
The announcement came a day after a packed meeting in which faculty and students challenged the timing of the decision, saying it would create major setbacks for students and undermine the integrity of academic programs at the campus.
The original decision "was a complete surprise, actually," said John Engell, head of the English department.
Engell said he was still unclear how many of his department's courses would be restored, as the department had undergone two rounds of cuts this fall.
Still, he said, "I'm glad fewer students and fewer faculty will be suffering this spring."
Follow Katy Murphy at Twitter.com/katymurphy.