Cal Semester Begins with Lesson in Economics

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    The University of California at Berkeley is one of the oldest and most respected universities in the UC system.

    The fall semester at the University of California, Berkeley started with a tough economics lesson.

    Chancellor Robert Birgeneau told students on the first day of class that the school is laying off roughly 300 employees and cutting about 8 percent of its courses to address a steep drop in state funding.
         
    The layoffs will affect employees at all levels of the administration but not faculty.

    In addition to the layoffs and course reductions, the campus is also curbing library hours and sharply reducing hiring to cut about $150 million from its budget.

    Birgeneau says a UC systemwide furlough program will save about 450 jobs on the Berkeley campus.

    To increase revenue, Birgeneau says the university will likely boost the number of out-of-state and international undergraduate students who make up about 11 percent of the entering freshman class.

    Students say the first thing they felt from the cuts is a lack of classes.  Mean complained about being on waiting lists because the course they need to take are full.