Budget cuts resulting in faculty layoffs and reduced course offerings are inescapable at Sonoma State University for the coming year; the remaining question is where will the axe fall, and how deep will it cut.
The CFA's membership vote on the furlough question closed at 5 pm Wednesday. The balloting was conducted online, as a means of obtaining greater participation during the summer, when few faculty are on campus. Because this was the first time the union has held a web-based referendum, they are taking a little extra time to ensure the accuracy of the results before making the outcome public on Friday morning, when they'll be posted on the CFA website.
How much difference can the outcome of the furlough vote make? As much as $3 million for the Sonoma campus alone, says Melinda Barnard, SSU's Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.
Even though the exact courses and faculty positions that will be cut due to the budget shortfall will not be decided for weeks to come, SSU Political Science professor Andy Merrifield (who is also a Regional Vice President for the California Faculty Association) predicts that the campus will be a markedly difference place by the start of next spring semester.