CSU student fees increase
By Elizabeth Daley, Bay City News Service
March 14, 2007
As California State University faculty members vote on whether
or not to strike if a contract agreement with the university system
is not reached, CSU announced today an increase in student fees,
according a CSU spokesman.
At a meeting today at the offices of the CSU chancellor in Long
Beach, students and faculty members spoke out against the fee
hike during a public comment session, according to California
Faculty Association President John Travis.
"We soundly reject the notion that student fees must be
raised to pay employees fairly," said Travis, "It is
wrong for the CSU administration to try to put equitable pay for
the faculty and staff in this publicly funded university directly
on the backs of our students."
However, Travis conceded that the CFA is a large organization
and there may be some faculty members who would support the fee
increase in order to pay salaries.
According to CSU, the board of trustees voted to increase student
fees for the 2007 to 2008 academic year by 10 percent to "support
full funding of the CSU budget."
The $253 increase would raise student fees to $3,451, according
to CSU. CSU spokesman Paul Browning said even with this increase,
CSU will still have the lowest student fees among comparable universities.
Browning said the fee increase was expected to generate $123
million in funding for the system, one third of which would be
applied toward financial aide.
Travis said in a statement that the fee hike was initiated "To
deliberately try to create tension between students and those
who are responsible for their learning for cheap political advantage
is further evidence of how far removed the administration and
trustees are from what is important on our 23 campuses: the education
of our 420,000 students."
Browning said "students with the greatest economic need
will not be impacted by the fee increase," adding, "more
than 25 percent will get increased financial aide to offset fees."
"Student fees are part of the overall revenue mix that is
needed to sustain our outstanding university system," said
CSU board of trustees chair Roberta Achtenberg.
"The CSU receives its revenues basically from state general
funds and fee revenues. Currently, employee compensation for all
employees accounts for 74 percent of the expenditure budget. The
trustees are committed to bringing all salaries up to market rate
in order to remain competitive. We cannot move forward on this
effort without either a larger portion of the state General Fund
or an increase in student fees."
Meanwhile, the fact-finding process continues in negotiations
between the CFA and CSU.
"The fact-finding report should be coming out in the next
few weeks we will look at it and reach an agreement," said
Faculty members at 16 of the 23 CSU campuses have participated
in a strike vote, with six remaining campuses including San Jose
State and San Francisco to vote this week, according to Travis.
Travis said on March 19 to 20th CFA ballots will be counted by
the League of Women Voters, to determine whether to authorize
the use of strike.
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