VP of Finance, Rob O’ Keefe, explains why he’s capable of a managing a $23 million budget and how he’ll deal with cost cutting. Questions by Tom Hammel, Opinion Editor.
Tom Hammel: In the upcoming year, you will be managing a $23 million budget. What makes you qualified to manage this responsibility?
Rob O’ Keefe: During my time at San Diego State I have actually sat on the finance board for three semesters. Me and the current VP of Finance, Ignacio Prado, have had great relationships and have come to understand what the budget is, where student fees go, how to allocate and budget them appropriately, it’s all been part of my experience. So with that said, I feel like I am the most qualified candidate for the job out of everybody running against me *points to empty podiums to his left.
TH: As it stands now, Governor Jerry Brown’s fiscal budget for 2011 projects a $1.4 billion cut to higher education, including a $500 million cut to both UCs and CSUs. How do you plan to operate your budget in the wake of these kinds of cuts?
RO: So obviously there are the circumstances of the state budget that could greatly affect our student body. The current finance board and the current VP of finance have done an excellent job preparing for these cuts, but it is going to be devastating if these cuts do happen. Associated Students does have a reserve, that, in case something like this did happen they would be prepared for something of this nature, and luckily over the past couple years, we’ve had VP of finances and finance boards to put money aside to hopefully alleviate some of the pain that might be caused from something as drastic as a budget cut of that nature.
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