California State University plans to hire 700 full-time faculty members, putting the skids on years of class and staff reductions prompted by state budget cuts.
The decision came as the system is under pressure to move undergraduates faster and reduce reliance on temporary instructors, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
Like many colleges across the country, Cal State universities have hired temporary teachers because of the budget cuts in recent years.
Money for the new hiring will come primarily from a $125 million increase in state funding last year and the juggling of resources on individual campuses.
Gov. Jerry Brown's 2014-15 budget proposes an additional $142.2 million for both the California State University and the University of California systems.
Cal State schools are looking at record demand in the fall, with the number of undergraduate applications at its 23 campuses expected to exceed 760,000.
In 2010, there were only 108 new hires for the system. Last year, there were just 470.
From 2008 to 2013, the number of full-time, tenured faculty members (or those on a tenure track) declined from about 10,700 to 9,800, the university said.
From 1991 to 2013, enrollment grew from about 362,000 to 446,000. During that time, the system added three campuses -- Monterey Bay, Channel Islands and the California Maritime Academy.
Educators hope Cal State's actions will foreshadow a nationwide trend, even though the number of jobs in higher education dropped slightly in the first quarter of 2014, according to HigherEdJobs, an employment website that analyzes U.S. Department of Labor statistics.
"It's great that Cal State is increasing hiring of tenure-track faculty and will be welcome news for the industry," said John Ikenberry, HigherEdJobs president and co-founder.