No news is no good news on the CSU budget front. We're still looking at the same $583 million cut, and the word on the street is massive faculty layoffs are about to be issued. I know already that many of my friends and colleagues will be out of work, and I'm not at all sure I'll have a job this coming academic year, even though 9 of the 33 classes scheduled for fall by the department are, for now, being taught by people below me on the hiring food chain. Even if I knew that the department wasn't facing more than a 30% cut, this would obviously be an incredibly cold comfort.
And of course, the years to follow look as bad, or worse.
I'll omit the rant that I think should rightfully follow here, against short-sighted fiscal policy, terrible management, bizarre legislative priorities, and the crazed, ignorant public sentiment that taxation is extortion (especially given that California, despite all the protestations, imposes relatively light income and property tax burdens). I'm not up for a rant at this point.
When I was a kid in Ohio, about the scariest random occurrence in my life was tornado warnings. I was, and remain, deathly afraid of tornadoes, hurricanes, and thunderstorms (despite having lived a couple of the one, one big of the other, and innumerable of the third).
There's nothing you can do if a tornado is on its way. You go into the basement and hope it doesn't remove everything above your head. You listen to the scratchy radio Emergency Broadcast System announcements, and you wonder how long you might have to live on the big cup of water you've just gotten from the tap. You listen for the long uninterrupted blast from the old Civil Defense siren that warns of the twister on its way.
That's where I am right now, hiding in the basement. And about 13,000 other CSU faculty are there with me.