PUEBLO — Colorado State University-Pueblo students say they are stunned after they returned to campus this week and learned the university is facing some serious budget issues that could force layoffs for 50 faculty and staff members next year.
CSU-Pueblo President Lesley Di Mare notified the campus last month that she was directed by CSU System Chancellor Michael Martin to trim $3.3 million from the budget.
Students say professors told them when they started classes on Monday that they did not know which services will be cut, according to the Pueblo Chieftain (http://tinyurl.com/mowjjwo).
State Reps. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, and Ed Vigil, D-Pueblo, are urging Martin to reconsider his decision.
"Now is not the time to be weakening CSU-Pueblo, but strengthening it," the lawmakers wrote in a letter.
They said CSU-Pueblo is a federally recognized Hispanic-serving institution with a proven track record of serving Hispanic and at-risk students.
Student Kelcie Smith, who is from Kit Carson in rural Colorado, said she was unaware the university is facing serious economic problems.
"This is kind of scary. I had no idea this was going on. I got an email about it on Jan. 11, but I didn't really find out about what was really going on until (this week). I think it's a bad deal, especially if some good teachers get fired," Smith said.
Shaylee Glover said she was told by one of her professors the faculty does not know what services might be cut.
"It's kind of worried me because one of the things that we were told might be cut are tutors, and that's something I use," Glover said.
Mario Ruiz, a junior Spanish major, said he heard talk about the budget woes late last semester, but didn't think much about it until he learned the magnitude of the problem this week.
Martin is scheduled to come to the CSU-Pueblo campus on Friday to answer questions about those cuts.
Information from: The Pueblo Chieftain, http://www.chieftain.com