There was much I agreed with in Ric Llewellyn's Sept. 1 column, "Californians deserve spot in their own CSU system." I share his disgust with a policy that favors out-of-state graduate students for California State University admission. He rightly points out how dysfunctional the California Legislature is. However, his comments that "CSU costs cannot be left unbridled" and that "Extravagant compensation packages from top to bottom have to go" leave the impression that the CSU may be able to easily mitigate budget cuts further through internal actions.

I think the facts argue otherwise. If he did research beyond sensational headlines, he would find that the CSU is the most affordable system in the country for our students and that we produce more graduates per dollar spent than any other system. He would also find that the compensation of our employees lagged significantly below that of employees at our comparison institutions across the country, even before furloughs and many years without pay raises for 99.9 percent of our employees.

The CSU is a phenomenal bargain for the people of California. However, as we are faced with the largest budget cuts of any large state agency year after year, something has to give. Unfortunately, we are at a point where access to programs, the quality of those programs and the country's lowest tuition can no longer be maintained unless the Legislature puts a higher priority on educating all deserving and eligible California high school graduates.