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Cal State plans to reduce enrollment next year if voters reject Browns tax proposal
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California State University system plans to close spring admissions at most campuses next year, and deep enrollment cuts are planned if voters reject Gov. Jerry Brown's measure to raise taxes, a top school official said Monday.

Only eight of Cal State's 23 campuses will admit students for the spring 2013 term, with enrollment limited to several hundred community college transfer students, Vice Chancellor Robert Turnage said. CSU admitted about 16,000 students last spring.

In addition, if voters reject Brown's November tax measure, total enrollment could be reduced by as many as 25,000 students, or roughly 6 percent, during the 2013-2014 academic year, he said.

"We're facing an incredibly uncertain situation," Turnage told reporters on a conference call. "In the wake of all these cuts we've taken, we really have to bring our enrollments down."

The system, which currently has 417,000 undergraduate and graduate students, is curtailing spring enrollment next year after the state reduced funding by $750 million, or 27 percent, this year.

If voters approve Brown's tax measure, CSU funding would remain flat at $2 billion under the governor's budget plan in 2012-2013. If voters reject it, the system would lose $200 million in the middle of the academic year.

University administrators will present the plan to the CSU Board of Trustees when it meets in Long Beach on Tuesday, though campuses don't need the board's approval for enrollment decisions.

Campuses that will admit spring 2013 applicants are Channel Islands, Chico, East Bay, Fullerton, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Francisco and Sonoma. Admissions will be limited to community college students who have completed newly created associate degrees that allow them to transfer to CSU as juniors.

School officials are not recommending a tuition increase beyond the previously approved 9 percent hike scheduled to take effect this fall.

"Nobody seems to like fee increases," Turnage said.

Over the past three years, the state has slashed funding for the Cal State system along with the 10-campus University of California system and 112 community colleges, prompting steep tuition increases, reductions in courses and services, and unruly campus protests.

Failure of Brown's tax plan would reduce state funding of CSU to $1.8 billion, down from nearly $3 billion four years ago.

"This saga of cuts has been going on for several years," Turnage said. "It's made planning very difficult."