CHICO, Calif. -- Chico City leaders are pushing to bring Chico State students back on campus this fall because they are concerned about the financial fallout.
Last week the California State University Chancellor announced that all 23 universities will move to online classes this fall.
“In Chico, not having the students here has an unbelievable, economic, negative impact because the university is the largest employer,” said Councilman Sean Morgan.
The Chico City Council is taking action and plans to either write a letter or lobby the governor and the CSU Chancellor to keep students on campus.
“We already have $7.5 million potential loss over the next fourteen months for the City of Chico and that's really hard to deal with, and that was before the [CSU] Chancellor said the CSU system is defaulting online. Take away all that revenue, nobody knows,” said Morgan.
According to the Cal State page, Chico State generates nearly $50 million in local tax revenue, nearly 12,000 out of area students, and $761 million to the regional economy.
“Our health of our students, faculty, and staff is first and foremost our highest priority and then we work with our civic leaders to figure out how we keep the economy rolling along,” said Chico State President Gayle Hutchinson.
The City Council says it would like to work with Chico State on the letter and lobbying. However, Hutchinson says she hopes to sit down with the Council to lay out Chico State’s fall plan.
“What I would like really to happen is to sit down with the City and really share with them our plans and see where we go from there,” said Hutchinson. “So I’m optimistic that when we sit down we can engage in some collaborative planning and decide after that which way we need to move forward.”
President Hutchinson says she hopes to release those details with the city next week.
President Hutchinson tells Action News Now that Chico State will have %15 of its core sections on campus. She also says property owners are anticipating several thousands of students to return in the fall.