The California State University Board of Trustees voted to approve a 10 percent fee increase May 14 in light of impending state budget cuts.

Although the governor’s May revision restored $97.6 million to the California State University system, it still leaves a shortfall of $288 million.

“While I am encouraged by the governor’s restoration, I’m also concerned that implications for not fully funding the compact for higher education will have serious consequences on our ability to serve the campus,” Vice President of Student Affairs Cornel Morton said.

“The restoration of funds in the May revise, in spite of a worsened fiscal condition in the state, reflects the governor’s strong commitment to education,” CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed said in a press release.

The six-year compact that the CSU and University of California systems signed in 2004 with the governor was intended to provide baseline funding for public universities through 2011.

The $110 million in the revenue generated by the fee increase will be used to increase financial aid grants, maintain course sections and maintain the quality of services on campus.

“It’s more than fair to say that the programs needed to maintain the quality of life and services on campus will remain intact,” Morton said.

CSU closed admissions on March 1 on all 23 campuses for first-time freshmen, resulting in 10,000 students who will not be admitted to the CSU system. Cal Poly accepted 1,000 less students than it did last year.

“The drop in enrollment will have a small effect on revenue, but the organization has been prepared to deal with upswings and downswings. I’m confident it won’t affect services for students,” Associated Students Inc. President Brandon Souza said.

According to a CSU press release, one-third of the fee increase will be set aside for financial aid to offset the increase for the neediest students.

The problem for the institutions results when the trend turns into a pattern and budget cuts continue over a number of years.

“The challenging aspect is, inevitably, it starts to affect your ability to maintain staffing and faculty,” Morton said.

Other areas that could possibly see negative effects from a dwindling budget include class availability and sizes.

Reed credited grassroots efforts of students, faculty, staff and administration who advocated for increased funding since the budget proposal was released in October to the restoration in the May revise.

“I encourage the students to get actively involved and make this an issue by contacting your local legislators,” Souza said. “It’s a matter that directly affects us.”

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