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UCSB ordered to cut fall enrollment

By   /   Thursday, January 15th, 2009  /   Comments Off on UCSB ordered to cut fall enrollment

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Short on state funds, the University of California system will cut freshmen enrollment and freeze top administrators’ salaries.

For the University of California, Santa Barbara – the Tri-Counties’ largest university with more than 22,000 students – the Jan. 14 move by university regents will mean 275 fewer new freshman admitted this fall. The school enrolled 4,147 California residents as freshmen in fall 2008.

To mitigate the cut, however, UCSB will take 100 more transfer students. UC spokesman Ricardo Vazquez said the increase aims to “widen” the path for students looking for a cost-effective education.

The enrollment cut, along with a pay freeze for nearly 300 top university officials, is an effort to save $20 million next year for the state’s flagship university system. It faces a $122 million deficit after years of over-enrollment resulted in 11,000 students who were not funded at all by the state.

The California State University system announced enrollment caps of its own in November. On Jan. 13, California State University, Channel Islands, said it will not accept undergraduates for spring 2010 because of the state budget crisis.

“We’re looking to accommodate as many students as we can this fall,” said Nancy Covarrubias Gill, director of communications and marketing at CSUCI. “We’re just not going to be able to open our doors to those students in spring of 2010.”

CSUCI has enrolled about 3,700 students since 2007 and has been in growth mode since opening in 2002.

“We would like to be able to enroll everyone who qualifies, but the reality is we can’t,” said Jane Sweetland, CSUCI’s enrollment dean. “We are unwilling to compromise the quality of the education our students receive, so we have to cut back.”

State officials ordered all CSU schools to keep enrollment at current levels. Students above this year’s numbers won’t get state funding.

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, falls under that edict, though officials were unavailable for comment on potential caps.

Cal Poly has over-enrolled for some time, said Cal Poly spokeswoman Stacia Momburg. It has more than 18,000 students this year.

Back at the UC system, the Santa Barbara campus is among six ordered to cut California resident enrollment by a statewide total of 2,300 students.

The others include the Davis, Irvine, Riverside, San Diego and Santa Cruz campuses. UC Berkley, Los Angeles and Merced will retain open enrollment.

UC President Mark G. Yudof said in a release that with fewer students, savings will come from offering fewer classes, hiring fewer lecturers, leaving faculty and staff vacancies open and other measures.

At the Jan. 14 meeting, the regents also decided to freeze the salaries of 285 top administrators and implement “significant restrictions to compensation” for other top officials.

The plan was immediately put into effect and will stay in place through the 2009-10 fiscal year.

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