Paying More for Less: SDSU Budget Cuts and Furlough Days

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Provided by 'San Diego Shooter' via Flickr

Provided by 'San Diego Shooter' via Flickr

Almost two weeks into the Fall semester at SDSU the students are noticing that something is a little different this time around.  Before the semester even began students received emails about a fee increase of $160 to bring the grand total up to $2,451 for in-state undergraduates.  Then on the first day of classes teachers informed their students about ‘Furlough days’, which are mandatory days off that the staff must take to save the school money. To some students this was wonderful news, but in all actuality, it will only hurt them in the long run.

All professors and teaching staff are required to take off a total of nine days, amounting to a 9.23 percent salary loss. Some professors may be selfless though and take their furlough days when they do not lecture; others might not be as generous. Many teachers are doing about half and half, taking around four days that they will lecture off and five days that they wont lecture off.

Dr. Tim Wulfemeyer,  a Journalism and Media Studies professor states, “I think it would be too damaging to the instruction/learning aspect of my courses to take nine instructional days off during the semester. On the other hand, by not taking any instructional days off, it tends to show taxpayers and legislators that professors are willing to do the same work for 10 percent less salary.  That doesn’t seem like a very strategic move to me.”

Students’ schedules will also be out of sync this semester because every teacher chooses their own days to take off. For instance if a student has three classes on a Monday, some weeks all three classes will be in session, some weeks maybe only two, one or even none. This can be very confusing for students and challenging for those that have to commute long distances or take public transportation.

The loss of classes could range anywhere from 10 to 30 percent, not to mention the immeasurable waste of knowledge. So if your teacher has opted to take only a few lecture days off, be sure to thank them, because nobody wants to pay more for less education.

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