CHICO, Calif. – Employees at Chico State and CSU campuses are being warned of possible layoffs as the university system works through several financial challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Chancellor’s Office of the California State University notified several union partners that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2020-21 state budget included a significant decrease of $299 million, rather than the $199 million increase that had been proposed in January, according to Chico State Vice President for Business and Finance, Ann Sherman. They added that state allocation reductions are also likely over the next few years through 2023 to 2024.
Sherman added that CSU campuses are also facing financial challenges as a result of the fall semester being primarily online.
These include, among other things, declines in parking revenues, on-campus housing at half occupancy, reduced out-of-state and international enrollments, and a lack of funding for mandatory cost increases such as healthcare and retirement programs.
Layoffs are the least-preferred option, Sherman shared in a news release. The notice emphasizes that each CSU campus has unique financial situations.
“At Chico State, we have been assessing options for addressing a budget gap of potentially $27 million to $30.6 million, compared to last year,” said Sherman. “To date, we have identified approximately $11.5 million in cost reductions, and are evaluating the availability and use of our economic reserves for the next several years.”
“For several weeks already, Chico State and the City of Chico have been exploring the joint impact that the state budget situation has on our respective budget scenarios, as well as how Chico State’s economic impact on the City may compound those outcomes,” Sherman added. “Chico State is committed to minimizing the need for any layoffs, and remain hopeful that alternatives can be identified which address the financial challenges we all face.”