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Calif. Universities Announce Major Spending Cuts

Above: University of California employees represented by the Union Coalition demonstrate in front of UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center to call on University of California executives take a pay cut instead of reducing services to patients, cutting employee hours and increasing student tuition on July 15, 2009 in the Westwood area of Los Angeles, California.

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Above: San Diego Week host Gloria Penner asks local editors about what's behind California's budget stalemate.

California universities are announcing major spending cuts caused by the state’s financial crisis. California State University Chancellor Charles Reed says his system is facing a $584 million revenue shortfall. Reed says that means belt-tightening measures are required immediately.

“I’ve recommended that we take furloughs for all $47,000 of our employees. Eighty-five percent of the California State University budget is salary and benefits. So, with a two-day per month furlough we can save or reduce our expenditures by $275 million.”

Reed says CSU faculty members are being asked to take their furloughs on days when they are not instructing students. He says CSU also may hike student fees by another 20-percent. That’s on top of the ten-percent increase in May.

Meantime, the University of California’s Board of Regents approved an emergency budget plan Thursday to close an $813 million deficit. Up to 80 percent of UC workers will be required to take between 11 and 26 furlough days a year.

Members of the California Faculty Association are vowing to fight the furloughs. Despite the furloughs, they fear there could still be layoffs in the future.

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