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California State University trustees say they want to avoid raising tuition

The California State University system should avoid increasing tuition as a way to make up for revenue losses and higher costs associated with the coronavirus pandemic, several trustees said during a virtual meeting. The system is already facing more than $300 million in coronavirus-related losses.

“The message that it would send to raise tuition, under really almost any circumstances during this extremely sensitive time, I really caution against it,” said state Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, who is a CSU trustee through the duties of her office.

Student trustee Maryana Khames as well as trustees Jack McGrory, Lateefah Simon and Peter Taylor also said they are opposed to increasing tuition.

Taylor was CFO of the system during the Great Recession, when the system raised tuition as it faced similar financial challenges. Taylor said he regrets raising tuition at that time, saying it hurt middle-class families.

“In hindsight, it was the wrong move,” he said. “And I just hope before we consider something like this, we uncover every rock to find every penny and every dime we can collect in order to avoid a tuition increase.”