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California University president: Effort in works to cut deficit

California University of Pennsylvania plans to slash almost $8 million of its deficit, Acting President Geraldine Jones announced during a fall semester convocation with faculty and staff.

Jones, who was appointed acting president when longtime Cal U leader Angelo Armenti Jr. was fired in May, gave an hourlong presentation to university faculty and staff on Tuesday in the $59 million convocation center.

The university had projections showing a deficit of $11.8 million for 2012-13 but is working to cut that by reducing expenditures, said spokeswoman Christine Kindl.Jones did not return calls or emails seeking comment.

Through Kindl, she said she believes the faculty and administration can work together.

“We will be stronger and better, I have no doubt about that,” a statement from Kindl said. “I believe we can do great things together, and we will.”

Cal U’s operating budget is $120 million. It holds the second-highest debt of the 14 universities in the state system.The university owes more than $97 million and pays $8.8 million annually in debt payments, according to state system figures obtained by the Tribune-Review.

Kutztown University in Berks County has the highest debt, owing nearly $115 million and paying nearly $10 million in annual obligations.

Michael Slavin, the president of the university’s faculty union, also addressed the group. He said the faculty is “cautiously optimistic” about Jones’ leadership.

“Everybody wants to believe in her,” he said. “It’s her actions, not rhetoric that we will be judging her on.”

Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6220 or [email protected].


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