Classes for the spring 2009 semester at Fresno State begin Wednesday, Jan. 21, and about 21,500 students will come back to a campus that has good news – a new library opening soon – and challenging news – a dire budget state situation that is impacting the university.

Bernie Vinovrksi, associate vice president of Enrollment Services, said the spring enrollment is expected to be about 21,544, just 300 students over the target imposed by the California State University system. Last spring there were 21,504 students.

In his annual spring address to the campus today, President John D. Welty said the university faces a “daunting” situation with another $3.6 million cut announced.

But the good news is, even though the state halted funding for thousands of public works projects, including the new Henry Madden Library, Fresno State will be able to open most of the library. Furnishings, however, will be sparse, Welty said.

“Because serving our students is our No. 1 priority, on Feb. 20 we will open the new north wing’s collection level, first, second and third floors, as well as the renovated south wing,” Welty said.

And as usual, vehicular traffic on and around campus will intensify, making the first few days of the semester a little hectic. Traffic and parking issues typically settle down in a few days. No road projects or closures will impede traffic.

Nonetheless, the campus community and visitors are encouraged to arrive early to allow time to get through campus traffic, find a parking place and have enough time to walk to their destination.

Parking restrictions are enforced. Passes can be purchased at the cashier’s window in the Joyal Administration Building. There is approximately the same number of parking spaces this year as last: about 5,600 student parking spaces, just under 2,000 faculty-staff spaces, plus spots for disabled drivers and metered parking.

The speed limits are 25 mph on campus roads and 10 mph in parking lots.

The University Police Department urges drivers to be patient, follow the direction of traffic officers and remember the hands-free cell phone law is enforced on campus. Texting while driving is also now illegal.

The Kennel Bookstore will be open extended hours to accommodate student needs:

  • January 21-22 – 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • January 23 – 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • January 24 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • January 26-29 – 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • January 30 – 7 :30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • January 31 – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To help students cope with textbook costs, Kennel Bookstore also provides e-book options for some titles (savings of 30%) and new textbook rentals that can provide up to 70% savings.