By Kara Mason
Nearly 40 Colorado State University-Pueblo faculty and staff gathered in front of the fountain to rally against proposed budget cuts, which could result in the loss of 50 university jobs.
CSU-Pueblo’s American Association of University Professors chapter organized the rally, and they said they want a say in how the budget cuts are decided.
“What may be less clear to some of you, is that job cuts are not a ‘possibility.’ They are a foregone conclusion,” said Fawn-Amber Montoya, professor of history and Chicano studies.
Earlier in the week, President Lesley Di Mare said in an email that all positions are being analyzed and suggestions for cuts by unit directors are scheduled for Dec. 18.
Many of the faculty and staff say there is no communication between deans and the departments.
“While faculty do not dismiss a need to be frugal in difficult fiscal times, we were not allowed time to discuss this situation among departments or colleges, nor were we allowed the opportunity to adequately assess the impact that immediate budgetary cuts would have on our ability to serve students and our community,” the AAUP’s statement said.
Carol Loats, president of the university’s AAUP chapter, said the deans of the colleges have a responsibility to communicate and they aren’t fulfilling it.
Staff and faculty said they want to provide more input about how the budget is balanced, because there may be other ways.
The CSU System was operating on a $200 million surplus last year. Jonathan Rees, professor of history, said it would be easy for them to bail out CSU-Pueblo, but the chancellor has already decided budget cuts are necessary.
An audience member asked, “What can we do?” Loats encouraged people to write to the administration and their state representatives.
“They (representatives) can speak with the CSU Board of Governors and the Joint Budget Committee,” Rees said.