California State University professors are not happy with California’s Gov. Jerry Brown.
Their reason: underfunding of universities.
In a news release on Jan. 10, the California Faculty Association (CFA) slammed Brown for failing to “honor the promise of access to public higher education for all qualified California students.”
The anger stems from the governor’s latest state budget proposal, which the CFA said provides much less funding than the organization had requested in order to ensure more students are able to attend public universities.
Jennifer Eagan, president of the CFA and a professor at CSU East Bay, said the funds set aside for the CSU system are not enough to increase enrollment at universities and will lead to “tens of thousands of qualified students” being turned away.
The proposed 2018-19 budget sets aside $92 million for the CSU system on top of their 2017-18 budget. Originally, the CSU chancellor and trustees had requested $263 million additional funds. The CFA said neither amount is enough to increase enrollment at the public universities.
The CFA supports upward of $422.6 million in increased funding to accommodate a 5 percent growth in student enrollment in the 2018-19 academic year.
“We must keep investing until every qualified student who is qualified and seeks a seat can get one,” said Lillian Taiz, CFA political action and legislation chair and professor emerita at CSU Los Angeles. “Our state cannot afford to drop the ball lest we accelerate a downturn.”
But while the CFA appears to advocate for increasing enrollment, the state budget funds appear to favor increasing graduation rates for students already in school.
According to the final state budget report, the $92 million is expected to be used to make progress in the CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025, adopted by the board of trustees in 2016.
Among the goals of the initiative are increasing the four-year graduation rate to at least 40 percent and increasing the two-year transfer graduation rate to at least 45 percent. The 2016 Budget Act included $35 million in one-time funding to jump-start those initiatives.