Budget cuts force 13-unit fall 2012 registration cap
Published: Monday, March 19, 2012
Updated: Thursday, July 12, 2012 15:07
Fall registration will include an initial 13-unit cap on enrollment because of possible budget cuts.
An initial enrollment period will limit Cal State Long Beach students to a 13-unit fall 2012 course load, because the Cal State University system faces the threat of a $200 million reduction in state support.
Continuing students will be permitted to register for 13 units during the university’s self-service registration period beginning April 9 but they will not be allowed to pick up additional units until August. Exceptions will be made for seniors graduating fall 2012 on a case-by-case basis.
Self-service registration dates will — like always — vary for students based on class standing and units completed, meaning some but not all students will be able to register as early as April 9.
This information comes from a Monday budget email sent to faculty and staff by CSULB Provost Donald Para.
The email notes uncertainty surrounding voter-approval of two state tax initiatives this November and the possibility of new governor-appointed CSU trustees refusing to approve fee increases large enough to mitigate cuts resulting from the rejection of these initiatives.
“If this occurs, CSULB could face a $27 [million] budget shortfall,” Para wrote. “CSULB does not have enough temporary resources to manage a cut of this magnitude.”
Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2012-13 budget calls for a $200 million cut to the CSU that would translate to about a $27 million cut to CSULB, if voters don’t approve two tax increases this November.
Citing the possibility of this budget reduction, the email outlines 10 “budgetary actions” aimed at reducing CSULB’s expenses, including the initial enrollment unit cap, suspension of admission to certain graduate programs and a number of issues that directly affect CSULB faculty and staff.
Admission to graduate programs identified for program review, have low graduation rates or “low demand” will be suspended, according to the email.
“None of the decisions we are making are good decisions, the decisions we are trying to make are those we can reverse quickly [without harming the university],” Para said.
Although the CSU’s 23 campuses are given relative budgetary freedom, the decision to cap initial enrollment comes from a CSU special meeting on enrollment management and planning.
According to Para, “many or most [CSU] campuses” will use initial enrollment caps to manage possible budget reductions.
CSU officials said these enrollment management initiatives are a response to state cuts.
“Anything related to enrollment right now ... really comes from the fact that it’s a state funding issue,” said Erik Fallis, a CSU spokesman.
According to Fallis, CSU campuses have dealt with recent cuts more easily because of small increases in funding during then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s last budget year in office and federal stimulus money during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 budget years.
“We haven’t really felt the pain of the Legislature pulling our funding out,” Fallis explained.
The budget email also said, “other actions are being considered by the Chancellor’s Office,” which include “reducing enrollment and establishing a moratorium on new degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.”
Enrollment reductions would not help cut costs this fall but would help the 23-campus system down the line, Fallis said.