Sacramento State President Alexander Gonzalez
Classes resume at Sacramento State in a few days for the fall semester. And the university’s president says the campus is doing everything it can to deal with massive state budget cuts. But some faculty members disagree.
University President Alexander Gonzalez tried to focus on the positive during his annual Fall Address to faculty and staff Thursday. Things like a brand new residence hall and classroom upgrades. But the overall picture was gloomy.
“The condition of the state’s economy and more specifically higher education is the worst that it’s been in decades.”
Massive state budget cuts have forced the campus to institute furlough days. After his speech, Gonzalez described what that means for students.
“There is going to a reduction of service. There may be some waits. They may have some difficulty seeing their department chair.”
Gonzalez says the university has no choice - the cuts are coming from the state Legislature. But Sociology Professor Kevin Wehr says the university could do a better job with its foundation – or investment dollars. Wehr is president of the campus’ Faculty Association.
“The foundation work is meant to bring money into campus, it’s meant to develop the campus and the campus has actually been forced to pay off debts that the foundation has incurred. That’s a problem.”
Wehr and other faculty members plan to hold demonstrations on the first few days of fall classes next week to protest the furloughs and student fee hikes.