California now threatening to pull funds from 7 public Unis due to underenrollment, a very complex chain of events to untangle, but one directly related to @GavinNewsom's overwrought, over-long pandemic response, and of course he is now the one likewise making the threats.

I can explain how this happened due to pandemic response specifically, but it's fairly complicated and definitely multifaceted.
So kind of doped on cough syrup but here goes an attempt in some semi-chronological order:

1.) Remote school lead to many drops, increased failure, and plain old attrition
2.) Also, revenue loss from no dorm/athletics income
3.) Simultaneously, CSU leadership craters
4.) Unions (not only faculty but facilities,vstaff, grad students too) agitate for increased CAL-OSHA regulations from early on, further causing difficulty to stop the eternal remote college game
5.) Mass expenditures on remote tech for students; monies given to faculty...
...for remote teaching labor (it was labor, took longer to shift classes and teach/grade online, bar none, in many disciplines).
6.) Due to Newsom's mass business closures, many parents lose jobs; college students pick up working OR helping siblings. Their own coursework suffer..
...or some decide that making $28 an hour at a grocery store or wherever is fine, since older people are scared to work and now there are labor shortages so businesses are offering primo wages. So leads to dropping out.
7.) Or because now more poor, CCC's pick up CSU students...
...but avg. CCC grad time in 9 years for 2-year degree, and they quickly disenchant students from CSU who are used to campus culture & events, esp. when CCC offer more, longer remote classes and no socializing opportunities for 18-24 year olds.

So further dropping out.
8.) CCC hold the line on remote college the longest and crater. The normal transfer pipeline from CCC to CSU is interrupted, esp. with poor online advising only.
9.) UC, barely more $ than CSU but more prestigious freak out about equity and drop entry reqs to maintain enrollment.
...they also limit # of International students due to COVID border craziness/ZeroCOVID and so have more spots.

Students who previously saw UC as unavailable now see that they are.

10.) CSU admin stringently disenroll many students who aren't vaxxed, end Spring 2021-ish.
11.) Now down considerably in terms of enrollments, with UC not generally suffering as much damage over vax due to greater demand, CSU has no feeder enrollment source from CCC, as UC gains.

Traditional HS remain remote and have mass learning loss, and many students...
...decide to take a gap year or go into trades, etc. due to feeling of academic malaise after the Zoom years.

12.) CSU decides, in Fall 21, to "require" 30% of courses to be in person. Too little, too late. Moreover...

13.) Deans look the other way when some faculty don't...
...return to in-person course assignments because after nearly 1.5 years of teaching remotely, many have relocated to more affordable States than California. A handful are scared of COVID. Some don't want to teach masked. Some don't want to play student daily wellness police.
13.) CDPH require CSU to require a booster. May have lead to further attrition.
14.) Spring 22, Admin start seeing that there is an actual non-temporary enrollment crisis. Offer to "buy out" tenured faculty on early retirement plans. Many are burnt out enough to take this.
15.) A huge number of adjunct faculty see sharply reduced hours at CSU and jump ship for other, more stable employment. Staff has been cut to save fund too so on campus services are often widely reduced. In addition to a poor campus atmosphere with restrictions...
16.) Student government sides with the "we need to be more safe!" side of things, limiting normal on-campus student life steeply so that no one can meet or have in-person events.
17.) By Fall 22, Admin are in blood-sweating panic and decide on a 70% in-person class target...
...which is clearly way to low.
18.) Now understaffed for faculty and facing challenges from unprepared students to limited campus life and food services, Admin turn about face and say "Do (almost) everything normally!"
19.) Surviving faculty and staff find themselves under-resourced and demoralized after years of restrictions and huge student issues with performance, behavior, mental health, with student suicide attempts hitting highs...
20.) Some faculty now refuse to come teach in person because of student attendance and behavior issues. The 70% target to teach in-person has not been met whatsoever.
21.) Campus meetings are required to be on Zoom through end 2023 due to CA State of Emergency...
22.) Therefore campus meetings to resolve these already complex issues are slow and cumbersome and often poorly attended.
23.) Faculty find themselves stretched thin with smaller departments now. Many cannot recharge via sabbatical, new hires are stopped, and Newsom won't fund...
...normal conference travel in 50% of US States because of unrelated reasons, leaving faculty further bored and now less in touch with state of their field.
24.) Spring 2023. Admin state 80% of classes must be held in person, but Dean's do not enforce. Some departments...
...are at nearly 100% in person "on the books" but when students attend class, they discover several courses are still online. This is now a year or so of this and students refuse to pay $ for dorms, which are a major CSU revenue source.
25.) More students leave.
26.) Newsom threatens to defund underenrolled CSU campuses, as per the CalMatters article, which is an extraordinary mess of largely his own design in the first place.

I am sure I am missing a lot. But that's my best on cold meds, tapping on a phone.
Finally, why care? Isn't it just an internal problem for CSU colleges?

Nope! It will deeply impact all of California's future economy, healthcare, and housing, since CSU is the biggest labor supplier for the State. The stakes are huge for every Californian.

Recommended by
Recommendations from around the web and our community.

In this insightful thread, @MmeBlackBalloon makes a convincing case that the woes of California's Cal State system are in large part due to @GavinNewsom's pandemic mismanagement. Worth reading if you care about access to university education for all who want it in California.