Post

PUSH PAUSE ON BUDGET CUTS AT HUMBOLDT STATE
Take Action: Speak Up and Write Letters

Overview

In this document you will see a brief description of what is happening at HSU, a list of people to contact, and a letter template and sample for writing to the press.

What is going on?

HSU administration is making permanent and extensive cuts to instruction – in the middle of the pandemic. Yet, HSU received $5.9 million in May of 2020 and an additional $16 million of federal stimulus in February of 2021. HSU is also backed by the California State University system, which holds 1.7 billion in reserves and received an additional $800 million in federal stimulus. On February 17th, Governor Gavin Newsom, Speaker Anthony Rendon and Pro Tem Toni Atkins announced that the previously enacted $299 million reduction to the CSU budget for 2020-21 is being restored under a COVID-19 economic recovery package. 

 

Despite money flowing in, HSU’s administration is slashing budgets, causing committed educators to lose work and healthcare benefits during a pandemic. These are faculty members who took on extra work when COVID-19 hit, absorbing the shock for the university by moving their courses online to ensure HSU continued to serve students. These cuts will also result in some departments having their course offerings significantly depleted, limiting student access to classes and faculty support while delaying pathways to graduation. 

 

Why is this happening?

It comes down to values and priorities. The CSU system is sitting on $1.7 billion in reverses and hundreds of millions in federal stimulus. HSU, in addition to their millions in reserves, continues to receive millions in federal stimulus, continues to hire more upper-level administrators, and continues to spend millions from the endowmentment on university investments. HSU administration insists that there is a “budget crisis,” but their story just doesn’t add up.

 

How will this hurt Humboldt?

HSU faculty, librarians, coaches, counselors, staff, students, and our Humboldt community are directly affected by these budget cuts. Faculty are facing unemployment, housing insecurity, and loss of healthcare for themselves and their families. Students are losing access to classes, vital programs which drew them to HSU, and critical faculty support while attending our university. Ultimately, these cuts will have short-term and long-term effects on Humboldt County. Many faculty, who are close to retirement, are worried about how this will affect their retirement benefits. As HSU is one of the largest employers in the region, maintaining a full, steady, stable workforce is important to Humboldt County and will help the area’s economy survive COVID-19’s shutdowns. 

 

Our position: 

The Humboldt chapter of the California Faculty Association (CFA) says that these cuts are preemptive, unnecessary, and are not in line with the values of our university or our community.

 

Use the contact information and discussion template below to help fight back against bad administrative decisions!

1. Contact HSU administrators: 

    HSU President Tom Jackson

    707-826-3311

hsupres@humboldt.edu

 

HSU Provost Jenn Capps

(707) 826-3722

jec159@humboldt.edu 


 

2. Email or talk to members of Arcata City Council:
3. Email or talk to Humboldt County Board of Supervisors:

 

Contact Supervisor Bohn:

Email: rbohn@co.humboldt.ca.us

Direct line: 707-476-2391

Contact Supervisor Bushnell:

Email: mbushnell@co.humboldt.ca.us

Direct line: 707-476-2392

Contact Supervisor Wilson:

Email: mike.wilson@co.humboldt.ca.us

Direct line: 707-476-2393

Contact Supervisor Bass:

Email: vbass@co.humboldt.ca.us

Direct line: 707-476-2394

Contact Supervisor Madrone:

Email: smadrone@co.humboldt.ca.us

Direct line: 707-476-2395

 

4. Write a letter to the press:

Send your letters to the editors of these publications.  

 

Letter Writing Sample:

Editor’s Name

Newspaper Name

Date

 

Dear Editor,

I am writing to you today in solidarity with the California Faculty Association at Humboldt State University, to demand that the HSU administration reconsider their cuts to instruction during the pandemic.

 

I join HSU lecturers, tenure-line faculty, counselors, librarians, and coaches in urging management to reverse course and save the university’s departments and programs.  HSU management must find other, less harmful solutions to budget gaps, including tapping federal stimulus money and the CSU’s $1.7 billion in reserves, institutionalizing temporary pay cuts for upper administrators, and other creative measures. These options make more sense than deep class cuts that will produce negative consequences for our students, faculty, and community.

 

As one of the largest employers in the region, HSU can and should do whatever it takes to maintain a full, steady, stable workforce to help the area’s economy survive COVID-19’s shutdowns. 

 

Sincerely,

Name

Organization

Email

Phone number


 

Letter Writing Template (to be used as a guide for your own letter):

 

Editor’s Name

Newspaper Name

Date

 

Dear Editor,

 

Start your letter in a way which addresses the issue at hand. For example:

As Humboldt State University makes permanent and extensive cuts to course offerings and faculty positions, [then state your position].

The rest of the paragraph should summarize your issue of concern in a way that captures the attention of the reader. This is your opportunity to tie your issue to a recently discussed topic, take a stance on a debated topic, or correct an error or misrepresentation.

 

Explain your ties to the issue. In other words, why are you speaking out about the subject? The subsequent paragraphs should further explain your issue and why people should care about it. If you have data or statistics to bolster your argument, this is a good place to use them.

 

Follow your explanation with a call to action. What is at stake if no action is taken? What will happen if people respond with action? Make the consequences of each very clear, and try, when possible, to inform the reader about the direct impact of taking or not taking action.

 

In your concluding paragraph, recap your point, reiterate your call to action, and include specific information on how readers can get involved.

 

Sincerely,

Name

Organization

Email

Phone number