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Colleges in crisis

November 01, 2009

Re "Deserted campus its own lesson," Oct. 22, and "College costs up in hard times," Oct. 21

The recent three-day class furlough at Cal State Fullerton provides only a small view of the impact of state budget cuts on higher education.

Employee furloughs at Cal State Fullerton produced millions in savings this year, which saved hundreds of class sections for students. Additionally, student fees were sharply increased on short notice to help reduce the impact of cuts in state funding.

Only two years ago, Cal State Fullerton had the largest head count of all 23 CSU campuses; we have been the No. 1 destination for community college transfer students for 10 consecutive years.

However, budget cuts forced us to cut summer 2009 enrollment and reduce admissions for fall 2009. State-supported summer session has been eliminated for 2010. The campus is closed to spring 2010 transfer students.

Cuts to the CSU budget mean thousands of students will be denied access to public higher education, and our region will have fewer college graduates to meet its needs.

Diana Wright Guerin Fullerton

The writer is a professor of child and adolescent studies at Cal State Fullerton.

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Help us, we're sinking! As California's budget continues to crumble, so does our state's higher education systems: UC, community colleges and CSU.

As a student of Cal State Northridge, I have been forced to watch my fellow students, and favorite faculty, abruptly disappear. Students pay incredibly high fees, but there are fewer class options, fewer resources and plenty of furlough days. Faculty and staff who have yet to be let go have had a pay decrease.

The truth is that we are all drowning. Our dreams of becoming doctors and entrepreneurs are sinking into the ocean. Is there anyone who can throw us a life jacket?

Jacqueline DeGrandis

Stevenson Ranch

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Where is the money really being distributed? Fees are increasing, but students are left feeling as if they have no voice and no choice. Where is the value that America stands for, saying "education is key"?

Leslie Odri

Santa Monica

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I am seriously afraid that I might not be able to get the classes I need to fulfill my degree requirements, all because California can't find the funds necessary to run the CSU system properly.

I'm taking out loans too. It's a sad feeling: to know you're going to be in debt after you leave college for a world where jobs are as hard to come by as a winning Lotto ticket.

Jeff Pruitt

Granada Hills

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