Fresno State Plans Layoffs, Furloughs

July 23, 2009 8:18:39 PM PDT
Fresno State's president is threatening to make even more drastic cuts to cope with the state budget crisis. It could mean layoffs, furloughs, even a complete campus shut down. In a town hall meeting Fresno State's president says students and staff will shoulder the burden of state budget reductions.

Fresno State President Dr. John Welty said, "It's something I've never experienced in my 40 years. It represents a broken promise to the students of the state of California."

Fiery words from Fresno State President Dr. John Welty as he delivered harsh details of cuts the university must make in order to meet state budget guidelines. Welty is proposing university employee's take two non paid furlough days every month.

"If all agree it will save 13.1 million dollars," said Dr. Welty.

Classes will still meet on these days, but administrative services will be closed. Some unions have already agreed, others have until July 28th to get onboard.

Dr. Welty said, "Those who don't accept furloughs, we will take further action including job elimination."

Decisions to raise student tuition, cut more than a thousand courses in the fall of 2009 and restrict new students in the spring have already been made.

Now administrators are considering shutting down the entire campus for spring break, cutting library hours and student employment by as much as one third.

Fresno State Senior Nicole Johnson said, "I work for teaches resource center that's not going to be good."

Many in the audience supported Welty's recommendations.

"He's working hard to pull us through this crisis," said History Instructor Bill Sukban.

Others questioned his decisions and personal contributions.

A man in the audience said, "In this time of budget crisis how can you justify taking home 300 thousand in cash. Can't you give some of that money back so people can keep their jobs?"

Even if the university makes all necessary changes Welty says it's still $16 million dollars short. To cover those funds Welty wants to cut 135 management and staff positions. 65 of those are currently vacant. If that's not enough Welty says university will consider more layoffs.

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