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SDSU Students Asked To Fund Faculty Hires

Aired 1/22/14 on KPBS News.

San Diego State students will be asked to consider a new fee of up to $500 per semester to boost faculty hiring.

San Diego State students are back on campus for the start of spring semester Wednesday. One of the first questions they’ll face is whether they’re willing to increase the student fees they pay already by $200 to $500 per semester.

Student Fee Increases Over The Years

Above: See how the student fees have increased each school year over the past decade.

While Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing a $140-million boost to funding for the California State University system next year, SDSU leaders argue it's not enough to make up for the 238 faculty members lost to budget cuts since 2008.

Students will be asked at 28 forums in February whether they're willing to take on a new "student success fee" to hire tenure-track faculty. Their feedback will go to the school's Campus Fee Advisory Committee, which is chaired by Associated Students President Josh Morse.

“Students can’t get the courses they need because there’s less faculty teaching the courses," Morse said. "And that’s what it all boils down to. We want to get more class sections so that our students can get the classes they need to graduate in a timely manner.”

SDSU projects a $200 per semester fee would pay for 80 new faculty, while a $500 fee would add 200 positions. Morse's committee will report its findings to SDSU President Elliot Hirshman, who will make the final decision on any fee increase.

What Students Will Pay

Above: The additional amount that SDSU students will pay per semester each school year depending on the amount of the approved increase.

CSU campuses can increase fees through student referendums, where students cast 'yes' or 'no' votes on a specific proposed fee, or through a consultation process like the one SDSU is using for the student success fee.

According to a presentation on the proposed fee by the advisory committee, CSU San Marcos students adopted a similar fee last year.

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