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Details: CSU plans to shut down most of 2013 spring enrollment

Faculty and students protest budget cuts at CSU Dominguez Hills.
Faculty and students protest budget cuts at CSU Dominguez Hills.
Slobodan Dimitrov/California Faculty Association

The 23-campus California State University system will shut down most of its 2013 spring enrollment — accepting only certain community college transfer students and then only at eight campuses — because of massive cuts to state funding, officials said today.

The eight CSU campuses that will accept students include Channel Islands, Chico, East Bay, Fullerton, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Bernardino and Sonoma, said Mike Uhlenkamp, a spokesman for CSU. The system typically receives about 70,000 applications for spring admissions and admits about 18,000 students most of whom are community college transfers, Uhlenkamp said. 

In this case, the system will only be accepting students who fall under SB 1440, a new law that gives students guaranteed admission in a CSU if they complete certain criteria and gain an "associate degree for transfer." Uhlenkamp said he believes the numbers of such students are "in the hundreds."

The system was hit with a $750 million cut in funding this past year, which has forced it to limit enrollment, Uhlenkamp said. Its $2 billion budget is threatened with another $200 million cut if Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative is not approved by voters in November.

Because of this, the system will accept applications for fall 2013 on a wait-list basis, holding off on decisions such as early admission, until the outcome of the tax initiative is determined, Uhlenkamp said.

If the tax initiative doesn't pass, then the system is looking at a 20,000 to 25,000 cut in student enrollment, he said. The system currently serves about 427,000 students.

"We’re trying to bring down the enrollment to closer match the available funding," Uhlenkamp said. "The issue is, we’re not going to be able to service students adequately with courses and class sections."

The system will present the plan to its Board of Trustees when it meets Tuesday in Long Beach. It will look at what other options it has if the tax initiative does not pass and the system is hit with another $200 million funding cut, Uhlenkamp said. The trustees do not have to sign off on enrollment plans.

The governor will release a revise of his budget plan in May. There have already been reports of possible changes to the initiative on which he bases his plan. Without voter approval, education in California could see a $5.2 billion cut.

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).