Colorado State University-Pueblo administrators are revising next year’s budget projections and the new bottom line could mean as many as 50 positions on campus will go dark in fiscal year 2015.
The combination of declining state revenues and declining enrollment on the Belmont campus is forcing CSU-Pueblo President Lesley Di Mare to reassess next year’s ledger and cut projections by $3.3 million….
The cuts will come from faculty and staff.
This is the response from the CSU-Pueblo chapter of the American Association of University Professors, compiled after an emergency joint meeting yesterday afternoon with the Faculty Senate, read at a rally that I just attended (taken from the final draft that appeared in my e-mail last night):
As many of you are no doubt aware, CSU-Pueblo has been tasked with cutting 3.3 million dollars in the 2014-2015 budget. What may be less clear to some of you, is that job cuts are not a “possibility”; they are a foregone conclusion. Faculty and staff alike have been told to expect as many 50 of our co-workers will lose their jobs. More troubling is that, though most faculty just learned the specifics of the cuts on Friday, names and positions have already been submitted to the deans, and deans have submitted proposed cuts to the provost. We stand before you now, not just as faculty concerned for the future of academics at CSU-Pueblo, but as concerned citizens of Southern Colorado.
Our president, Dr. Lesley DiMare, has been stalwart in her work for CSU-Pueblo, but at the CSU Chancellor’s request, decisions have already been made regarding the process for identifying proposed personnel cuts — all at a time of the year when both faculty and students have left for the holiday break.
What this means is that proposals have been put forward with minimal faculty input and without adequate time to communicate information to those on campus and off who will be most affected by the layoffs that are coming. Few administrators or system officials seem to have considered the impact that 3.3 million dollars in lost salaries would have on our Southern Colorado region in a time when the CSU System is operating with a 200 million dollar surplus. Most importantly, while faculty do not dismiss a need to be frugal in difficult fiscal times, we were not allowed time to discuss this situation among departments or colleges, nor were we allowed the opportunity to adequately assess the impact that immediate budgetary cuts would have on our ability to serve students and our community.
We are asking now that Dr. DiMare and the CSU System chancellor, Michael Martin, allow faculty to take a more prominent role in developing alternative budget-cutting proposals that will avoid such a drastic impact on campus jobs. And, we are asking that our colleagues throughout the state, our alumni, our students, and our community partners contact our state representatives now. The future of CSU-Pueblo is very much at stake, and decisions made in haste now have the potential to harm our students and the community for years to come.
And here’s our rally: