UPAC recommends college merger

The University Planning Advisory Council released a 13-page report today with several recommendations for easing the estimated $32 million deficit that now faces SF State. The 12-member council, established in December 2009 to establish budget savings, collaborated to release the report that recounted the steps leading to the substantial shortfalls and provides suggestions as to how the university can appropriately address the cuts.

“Having faced declining resources allocations over the past several years, we have already attempted to maximize efficiencies and eliminate unnecessary spending,” said the report. “As a result, there are no easy solutions; the low hanging fruit has long since been picked.”

The report comes shortly after Governor Jerry Brown’s budget proposal to cut $500 million from CSU funds. The council estimates that $32 million is only the minimum anticipated amount to be cut from SF State, which is already battling an $18 million deficit.

“While we face a deficit of $32 million that we are unlikely to solve without shrinking personnel costs, the Council has focused on efforts that would minimize the number of our programs and colleagues that might eventually be adversely affected,” said the report.

Recommendations made by UPAC include transitioning SF State from an eight-college campus to a six-college structure. UPAC estimates that the transition will save $1 million by implementing new colleges and combining others. The six colleges include: College of Business, College of Creative Arts and Communication, College of Ethnic Studies and Education, College of Health and Human Services, College of Science and Engineering and the newly formed College of Liberal Arts.

UPAC also recommended streamlining the College of Extended Learning, reviewing the value of the required Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement, and shifting from paper-based resources to online among many other suggestions. The report also noted that the budget cuts will more than likely result in a reduction to faculty size.

“These are trying times and budget pressures assure that changes are unavoidable at San Francisco State University,” said the report. “On one hand, the strength of our institution enables us to take on these challenges with some optimism about the future; on the other hand, our current strength highlights what is at risk in change.”

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UPAC recommends college merger