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CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE : Education in Jeopardy, Rally Told

The state’s Master Plan for Higher Education may have to be abandoned if budget cuts continue, David Weiss, student government president at Cal State Northridge, told a rally protesting the layoff of part-time instructors at the campus.

Weiss said the Associated Students governing board on Tuesday passed a resolution stating that if the state will not adequately fund the mission of the plan, then “that mission is going to have to change.”

The plan, adopted in 1960, guarantees a place for an eighth of the state’s eligible high school graduates at a University of California campus and for a third of them in the California State University system.

With classes and instructors being eliminated because of state budget cuts, Weiss said, students no longer are guaranteed that access to the state’s educational institutions.

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CSU Chancellor Barry Mintz said at a recent trustees meeting that 12,000 students may be denied admission to CSU campuses next fall because the state cannot fund universities at the level needed to educate additional students.

“The Master Plan has become unrealistic,” Trustee J. Gary Shansby said.

At that meeting, trustees voted to keep enrollment for the 1992-93 year at essentially the same level as this year. About 360,000 students are enrolled this year at the system’s 20 campuses.

Cal State Northridge announced Wednesday that it will lay off or reduce the hours of 29 part-time instructors next semester. That number probably will grow when state budget figures are announced in January, administrators said. About 250 faculty members and students attended Wednesday’s rally to protest the layoffs.

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Weiss said that with student fees reaching $1,200 a year at CSUN, a college education is no longer affordable for many. The increased fees, high-priced books, the high cost of living and other expenses have brought the price of an education at Northridge up to $7,000 or $8,000 a year, Weiss said.

The CSUN student government resolution will be forwarded to Mintz, CSU trustees, Gov. Pete Wilson and other state Legislators, Weiss said.


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