With difficulty, Sonoma State has weathered a 17% budget reduction this semester. Now they’re waiting to see how much more they will have to cut in the months ahead.
Looking ahead to the next academic year, SSU CFO and Vice president for Administration and Finance, Laurence Furukawa-Schlereth (right) , offered a silver lining of sorts, telling the campus community assembled at the midday Town Hall meeting that he hoped to avoid any further job losses in 2010-11.
Former Dean of the school of Social Services at Sonoma State, Bob Karlsrud, questions the no layoffs pledge, because it does not cover the part-time lecturers who teach the majority of courses offered at the university. Because they are rehired each year, it’s not considered a job loss when a new contract is not offered for the next semester. Karlsrud contends the campus has added too many contractual administrative positions, at the expense of keeping teachers in classrooms.
Catherine Nelson, a political science professor who represents the Sonoma campus on the statewide CSU Academic Senate, believes the current fiscal crisis also represents an opportunity for the school to clarify and redefine its core vision of itself, something she says is not yet happening here or anywhere else. But she has an idea of what it could include.
The next Town Hall meeting at the university will focus on the troubled Sonoma State University Foundation on December 16th.