By Mike Hagerty, CapRadio
The current economic downturn is hitting Sacramento State University especially hard.
University President Robert Nelsen painted a grim economic picture in a message to staff, faculty and students this week. The school will need to cut $9 million from its budget, down to $348,296,000.
Nelsen spoke with CapRadio's Mike Hagerty about what's next.
On budget cuts at Sacramento State
We have a budget and it's a balanced budget, but it required each department to cut their budget by 10%. That's across the board and it required us going into our reserves for an additional $7 million to be able to have a balanced budget. Just our salaries [are] around $16 million. When you're going to your budget for $7 million, then you've only got $17 million left in salaries.
On the idea of doing more with less
That's just a falsehood because you can't expect everyone to do everything. You really have to do less with less. So you have to decide what is absolutely essential. We know that what is essential for us is teaching and making certain that our students graduate on time. But we can't do everything. So we have to do less with less.
On records for enrollment and retainment
It's been amazing. We have record enrollment. This is the largest enrollment we have had at Sac State. We have 350 more students than we had last year. The students are coming. They want to be here and they're graduating on time.
On the university's economic outlook
We are looking forward to a difficult year because COVID has created real costs and we do not see COVID going away that quickly. We hope that in a couple years we'll be able to see improvements. But I don't see the economy coming back immediately next year. We predict that we may have to do another 10% cut and we have to find out the best way to be able to do that.
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