California State University, Fresno President John D. Welty discussed the campus budget at the annual Spring Faculty/Staff Assembly today (Jan. 20, 2009), noting that the university faces a “daunting” situation that will bring “painful” moments.

Welty said the current fiscal year still has many challenges, and he is focused onto ensuring that “we can cover salaries and mandatory obligations in this constrained environment.”

“I am continuing the hiring freeze that was implemented in early 2008-09 and adding severe restrictions on travel and procurement activity. All of us must make efforts to curtail spending and preserve campus cash balances for all state, non-state and foundation funds,” he said.

Fiscal uncertainty continues into 2009-10, and Welty announced a campus budget summit for Feb. 12. He and key university leaders will discuss how the campus might deal with potential funding reductions, and he is asking faculty and staff to offer suggestions. Budget reductions are expected, and the president said he is already working with the vice presidents to enact reductions in the most prudent and practical way possible.

“Although the situation worsens by the day, the Legislature and Governor talk, but don’t act to resolve it,” Welty said. “I urge all of you to contact your State Senator and Assemblymember and implore them to act immediately. We, as citizens – and our students – deserve and demand action.”

Even though the state halted funding for thousands of public works projects, including the Fresno State Library, Fresno State will be able to open most of the library, but with sparse furnishings, 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.”

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