By | The Lumberjack Editorial Board
When the word deficit gets tossed about in a college environment, you already know that the students are going to get the raw end of the deal once it’s time to make up for losses.
One of HSU’s greatest marketing tools is that they can advertise affordability over other campuses. With a plan that implements a 5 percent tuition fee increase by fall 2017 and $5 billion cut to higher education in the proposed 2018 federal budget, the cost of education for the Humboldt State student is rising. Students can’t afford to handle the consequences of a $6 million budget deficit.
There are two problems with the University Resources and Planning Committee’s [URPC] plan to balance the budget. Phase one and Phase two. Both phases are set to make students suffer.
Phase one is an $800,000 cut from personnel. These cuts are no doubt going to start with eliminating student jobs. Outside of the Humboldt State [HSU] campus, finding a job in the small town communities of Humboldt County is near impossible.
Student workers depend on HSU to provide accessible jobs. Dismissing student jobs will devastate the student economy. Not only are university employers more willing to accept first-time job seekers, the faculty and administration understand the stress of maintaining a student schedule that outside employers don’t.
Although the athletics department accounts for nearly $1 million of the deficit, the UPRC hasn’t yet revealed a plan to fix athletics budget. A monitoring system for athletics has been put in place by President Rossbacher, however no concrete changes to athletics have been proposed. Colleges glorify the sports life and hesitate to make budget cuts to a department that draws in money.
However, the athletics department carves out a big chunk of the deficit, and yet, the administration is quick to cut funds to our student financial support and academic programs. The URPC’s phase two is a tentative plan set to cut funds from instructional/academic colleges, student services, administration costs, and Information Technologies.
We have eight years of an increasing deficit, a growing student housing crisis, and rising issues of food insecurity: And HSU wonders why there is a declining student enrollment rate.
HSU administration may not want to comment on the challenges facing our university, but students are smart enough to do the research, and it is evident that our college is in need of a reality check.