Dozens of San Francisco State University faculty members and students rallied on campus on Wednesday in opposition to widespread layoffs and class cuts anticipated this spring.
In an August presentation to the university’s budget committee, administrators estimated they would need to cut the equivalent of 125 full-time positions and hundreds of classes by early 2024 to make up for a projected budget shortfall. The staff cuts would mostly impact lecturers and result in the layoff of about 325 of the university’s 1,084 largely part-time lecturers, according to the California Faculty Association, the union representing staff across the state’s CSU campuses.
“That’s devastating,” said Brad Erickson, a lecturer in the School of Liberal Studies and the SF State union chapter president. “It represents about 655 courses that won’t be taught. It represents slowing students’ path to graduation by not being able to get the courses they need. It also means increased workloads for the remaining faculty, who will be teaching more students in larger classes.”
Juliana van Olphen, chair of the Department of Public Health, said students and faculty will bear the brunt of the cuts.
“They may say, ‘If I can’t take it this semester, then I’ll have to be here an extra semester… I need this to graduate,’” van Olphen said. “The university claims to be focused on student success, yet widespread cuts to classes and layoffs of our valued colleagues break our spirit and will have a devastating impact on student success.”