By Brenda Acuna |Staff Writer|
The California State University Board of Trustees has postponed indefinitely the controversial student incentive fees after a two-day meeting in Long Beach last week between the Board of Trustees that included an unusual appearance by Gov. Jerry Brown.
“After the testimony of a number of folks,” Chairman Bob Linscheid said, “students in particular, and the outcome of the election on Proposition 30 I felt that in the best interest of the system[…]to remove that from consideration.”
In addition to the incentive fees postponement, the Board approved incoming Chancellor Timothy White’s request of a 10 percent salary reduction.
White, who will begin his position as chancellor in January, was set to receive the same state-funded salary of $421,500 as the current chancellor, Charles B. Reed. His new salary will be $380,000, according to Huffington Post.
“As I join the faculty, staff and students who have experienced cuts, salary freezes, and increased fees, I too must do my part,” said White.
The CSU system released in a statement that Wednesday’s postponement will allow the trustees to “gather additional information and input from stakeholders.”
The three new CSU fees: the graduation incentive fee, the third-tier tuition fee, and the course repeat fee, were each designed to push students to graduate faster and provide more class space to new students, according to the Nov. 14 agenda.
Gov. Brown spoke at the meeting, commenting that the postponement of the proposed fee hikes vote was a good decision.
“This is no time to be raising fees of any kind. Voters gave us billions in new revenue. Now we have to use that very judiciously,” Brown said. “The problem is we have an extremely stratified society. I don’t want to add burdens where we can avoid it.”
Gov. Brown told reporters that he requested the postponement because he felt the fee hikes would affect low-income students. He also said he questioned the timing of raising tuition a week after voters agreed to a quarter percent sales tax hike and higher income taxes for Californians making over $250,000, according to CBS Local.
Some students say that the proposal of new fees is not the way to encourage students to graduate on time.
“I think the fees are unfair, said Alex Cardenas, a CSUSB Communications major. “If the fees are approved in the future, it will be taking advantage of students trying to graduate since classes are so limited.”
Other students at CSUSB think the incentive fees have the potential to directly affect every student’s education.
“I think it’s wrong to include these fees, but I see what they’re trying to do,” said Sarah Eddins. “A lot of us are prolonging our stay here so I understand, but at the same time this directly affects students like me since I plan to take extra units in the future.”
Prospective nursing student Denise Arias wants the proposal scrapped permanently.
“I don’t like the sound of this at all. I’m in the process of applying for the nursing program here and I still have to retake classes in order to be considered. I’m a junior and by the time I get accepted, I’d still have a few more years of school so I would be a super-senior. If the fees are approved in the future, it would directly penalize me.”
This is the second time the Board of Trustees has put off voting for the fees. According to CSU officials, the matter will be discussed at an undetermined later date.