By James Dohnert

As California attempts to balance a budget $15.4 billion in debt, it is students who may be among the hardest-hit. "We're facing the worst financial situation the CSU has ever had," said Trustee Bill Hauck, chairman of the university system's finance committee.

The CSU's plans might exclude 10,000 students from attending a school in the system in an attempt to save $60 million next year. That is on top of a roughly $250 million payroll reduction for a university staff that has already shed 4,145 faculty members and staff positions through layoffs and attrition since the state's fiscal crisis began in 2008.

But in an economic climate like today, what other options are there? What can we expect in the coming year and what can we do to achieve the best possible outcome?

The Commonwealth Club hopes to answer these question and others with upcoming lectures like:

Speak Up CA

Join fellow Californian’s and a panel of experts in a brainstorm session intended to fix the Golden State. This two-hour event is your chance to take part in government reform and learn the issues at the core of our financial crisis. 

Mayor Ed Lee

Visit with new San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and learn what he plans for the city. Join The Commonwealth Club for the mayor’s lecture on all things San Francisco politics. 

Willie Brown Jr.: 2011 Annual Lecture on Political Trends

This is a Commonwealth Club members-only special event: Join former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown Jr. for an in-depth discussion on the future of California politics. Hear his expert opinion and learn how he believes California will deal with its fiscal mess.