FULLERTON : $2 Million in Cuts Restored at Cal State

Cal State Fullerton will have a lean year but not one as bad as had been feared, university officials said Tuesday.

President Milton A. Gordon said that the university will restore about $2 million in planned cuts for the library and the instructional equipment budget and that classes will not be trimmed.

But 23 faculty positions and about 18 clerical and technical slots will go unfilled as part of more than $2.1 million in specific budget reductions, university officials said.

"It's better than we thought it would be," Gordon said. "My hope is that as a student, you would not feel the impact any more than was felt a year ago."

Last month, university officials said they would have to cut from $5 million to $5.6 million from the $116-million budget. Last week, however, the state Finance Department notified California State University officials that the 20-campus system would get $15.3 million more than projected.

Combined with Cal State Fullerton's share of state lottery funds for education, which are being used this year to help balance the budget, $2 million more will be "coming back to the campus for library support and instructional equipment support," Gordon said.

There will also be about $131,000 for some faculty research proposals, he said, which had all but been written off because of the budget crisis. The downside is that lottery funds will not be available this year for educational enhancement programs, such as the campus "Distinguished Scholar" visiting-lecturer series.

The news on cuts has been favorably received by faculty and student leaders, who had been girding for a grim year.

"I think it's great that we'll be getting more money for the library," student body president Joseph Ahn said.

"We were worried that the library wouldn't be able to buy new texts or periodicals. There was no budget for them," Ahn said.

"We were afraid there might be some professors who would assign books and materials that couldn't have been ordered for the library."

But most everyone agrees that cutting back from last year's already-bare-bones budget is not going to be painless.

"It's still going to be a tough year," Ahn said. "We're going to have to buckle down and tighten our belts. And we may have to do it even more next year if the state budget (situation) doesn't improve."

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