Fresno State to Restore Some Classes

FRESNO, Calif. On Wednesday students and faculty protested recent fee increases that have boosted costs by about a thousand dollars a year. Those increases came as classes and faculty were cut. Now University Provost William Covino says a small dose of Federal Stimulus Funds will help.

"With these dollars we will be able over the spring semester to restore two hundred classes and we will be able to ensure the employment of over 50 faculty members."

Alex Andreotti, Vice President of the Associated Students, believes it's welcome news.

"I think students will be fairly excited about the extra money that's coming in."

The reduction in class offerings have made it tough on many students, especially those near graduation, like George Martinez.

"That's really good news for me. 200 classes, that could be the difference for graduating or not."

Nursing student Gurwinder Kaur is among those who have had a hard time getting the classes they need.

"It was hard for me to get into my chemistry class because I'm majoring in nursing and I really need that class and if I hadn't gotten into that class this semester I would have had to stay an extra semester, for like five and a half years." She said.

The money is only a temporary shot in the arm. Enough for one semester and Covino said, not nearly enough to offset the major cuts.

No, not even close. The cut to the university generally was 44 million, so 1.4 million in that context is a small fraction of what it would take to build back from that budget reduction. But it is going to allow us to restore, or not reduce some courses that we would have had to for the spring semester."

The University is planning to deal with the continuing budget shortfall by reducing enrollment by nearly ten percent in the next school year.

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