An “all cuts budget” proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown could include a $1.1 billion cut to the CSU, President Ortiz said Thursday at the Pizza with the Presidents.
The CSU has been committed to $500 million dollars in budget cuts that were approved by the Legislature for next year. An all-cuts budget means that the system — including Cal Poly Pomona — could face the prospect of doubling these cuts, unless more revenues are part of the final state budget.
“We’re all in the same boat,” Ortiz told students, staff and faculty attending the event. “I don’t believe in what the governor and Legislature are doing to higher education. Of course I’m opposed to any further cuts to higher education.”
During the noon-hour event in the University Quad, Ortiz and ASI President Ismael Souley fielded questions about the California budget crisis, funding for new buildings, calendar conversion and many other topics.
Ortiz explained how the university budget is allocated in response to questions about how Cal Poly Pomona could afford construction of new buildings and events like Pizza with the Presidents during tough financial times.
Funding for the new College of Business Administration complex, which Ortiz cited as an example, comes from voter-approved bonds and can be used only for specific purposes. The $30 million project is predominately funded by California Proposition 1D — The Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2006. The recreation center, scheduled for completion in 2014, and the Residential Suites Phase II, which opened in the fall, follow a “pay as you go model,” Ortiz said. Students who use the facilities would pay for for them via rent or fees.
“We’re not diverting money from education. We’re not diverting money from classes. We’re not diverting money from salaries,” Ortiz said.
The president added that Pizza with the Presidents and Staff Appreciation Day are supported by donations, not student fees or the university’s general budget.
One student suggested that the campus adopt a year-round 4/10 schedule to save money.
Ed Barnes, vice president of administrative affairs, said the 4/10 schedule saves money during the summer because campus buildings are closed on Fridays. It isn’t a viable option for the rest of the year, he said. The idea had been discussed but was determined that it would be too difficult to provide enough courses and sections over four days. Also, many students request classes on nights and weekends.
Calendar Conversion Proposal
The proposal to convert to the semester system was voted down by the Academic Senate and sent to the President’s Office. In order to carry out a conversion, the university would need external funding, and funding has not been secured. Without funding, conversion cannot happen, Ortiz said.
The trend at colleges and universities nationwide is toward a semester calendar, Ortiz said. Some benefits include: reduced paperwork and processing for course registration and financial aid; equal footing for students competing for and working summer jobs and internships; transferring units from community college; fewer textbook needs; and fulfilling prerequisites for semester-based graduate programs.
President Ortiz moved Studio 6, specifically the eLearning unit, from the I&IT division to the academic affairs division. Provost Marten denBoer and University Library Dean Ray Wang agreed that the department should move from the CLA building to the library, which is a more accessible location for faculty.
Roads Conditions Near Campus
Barnes, who oversees Facilities Planning & Management, addressed concerns about potholes and poor road conditions near campus.
The university is not responsible for maintaining the roads off campus, Barnes said. Temple Avenue near Mt. SAC is under the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County. South Campus Drive, Valley Boulevard, and the eastern part of Temple Avenue belong to the city of Pomona. The roads have long been a low priority for the city, and it does not have enough funding to fix them, Barnes said.
Since the university began working with the city, the streets have moved up the city’s priority list and partial funding has been identified, Barnes added.