SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Outgoing San Diego State University President Stephen Weber said Thursday he hopes the public doesn't saddle successor Eliott Hirshman with expectations that he will immediately solve the school's funding crisis.
The state budget signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown Thursday cut spending for the California State University system by $650 million, $150 million more than expected. Weber said administrators found ways to deal with SDSU's share of the initial $500 million reduction, but there weren't any remaining ideas for compensating for further cutbacks.
"I worry a lot about the budget situation," Weber told City News Service from his home on Hancock Point, Maine. "It's a really dire situation in California, and it will probably get worse before we're done."
He said Hirshman, whose tenure as SDSU's eighth president begins Tuesday, underwent a thorough orientation process earlier this month.
"I like him a lot," Weber said. "I think he has really good instincts and I like the way he asks questions.
Weber, who left for Maine on June 16, was praised from nearly all corners near the end of his 15 years at SDSU.
"The truth is, people are being very kind," Weber said. "In a lot of cases, they gave me credit for things other people did."
He said his main contribution was to ask questions.
When he first arrived on campus, the school was overcrowded and had no enrollment controls. After he asked why, the University Senate debated whether to educate more students or serve fewer students better, and chose the latter course.
Since that change, the graduation rate improved more than at any other school in the country, and the number of freshman applications soared to among the highest nationally, he said.
He said he and his wife, Susan, built a house in Maine when they lived there years ago and kept it, spending vacations there.
"Our kids always think of Maine as home," Weber said.
He said he and Susan will travel during the cold-weather months, and have already rented a San Diego condominium for next February and March. That the return visit comes near the end of basketball season was no accident, he said.
"I never doubted that the basketball program would come together, but I thought it would be next year," Weber said. "That it was this year was a treat."
The Aztecs men's basketball team compiled a 34-3 record and went to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
He also said he also hoped to remain a leading voice against college football's Bowl Championship Series, which he called "a cartel."
Believe it or not, midterm elections are just 85 days away, and there is no better time to talk about polling and gauging the where the nation is headed than now.
Two people were hospitalized Monday after they were shot while driving on state Route 94 in Lemon Grove, officials said.
Marking the fourth new fire station to open this year and the ninth to be built or renovated since he took office, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer Monday will officially open the new Fire Station No. 5 that will better serve Hillcrest and the surrounding neighborhoods.
One person was reported dead Monday after a vehicle went off the San Diego I-5 Freeway in National City and a man apparently from that vehicle ran across freeway lanes, authorities said.
A woman was transported to the hospital Sunday after being bitten by a rattlesnake on the cliffs above Torrey Pines State Beach, according to a spokesperson for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
The investigation continues into the tragic killing of a pregnant mother and her two young daughters in Colorado. The girls' father remains behind bars accused in their deaths.
Temperatures will be similar, varying by a few degrees throughout the week. Steady onshore flow will strengthen the marine layer, leading to overnight/morning low clouds and potentially fog along the coast.
There was a special reunion in La Jolla on Sunday with surf dog Ricochet jumping on a surfboard with quadriplegic surfer Patrick Ivison. Ivison surfed with Ricochet 10 years ago and they got to chance the ride the waves together once again.
At least two children had to be hospitalized Sunday as a result of a major crash that blocked multiple lanes of Interstate 8 in El Cajon.