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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Today's announcement from the Dean

Here is the letter we were given

Dear Colleagues:

Today I sent to the Provost the revised version of the CLAS 10 percent budget cutting exercise. Soon it will be posted on the Provost’s website. We will post it on our site as well.

The plan has been revised since it was first presented two weeks ago. Most noticeable is a change in the format of the document. Rather than aggregating the cuts into ten “tiers,” this document breaks them out more discretely into 47 individual cuts. This fits the format provided by the Provost’s office (and allows us to provide more detail on the consequences of each cut), but it doesn’t by itself change the content or sequence of the cuts.

Several changes to the numbers are fairly minor, and involve revisions based on more precise accounting or on updated expectations of attrition.

I have adopted one significant change recommended by the Finance Committee. In the original plan, Geological Sciences would take a significant reduction in “tier 8” and Religion would take a significant cut in “tier 10.” In the current plan, those cuts would be distributed more equally, so that both departments would take part of their cut in what used to be tier 8, and part in what used to be tier 10. Those cuts are now in lines 43, 44, 46, and 47. I think that the Finance Committee found this to be a more equitable approach, and I agree.

In conveying the plan to the Provost’s office, I will stress the following points.

1. Even taking half these cuts would be deeply damaging to CLAS, to our students, and to the University. Attrition will leave our capacity to pursue our mission considerably diminished.

2. Before any of the most serious cuts are taken (those that would dramatically cut a department) I would like to discuss the consequences directly with the Provost and President, and I believe that it would be appropriate for them to meet directly with the concerned departments.

3. If other colleges are allowed to implement plans that avoid vertical cuts, CLAS should have the opportunity to revisit its plan, which is based on the belief that vertical cuts are mandated.

There has been only one good part of this process, and that has been the thoughtful way all of you have approached this impossible situation. People have asked hard questions. They have listened to the answers, even when the answers were not very satisfying. Criticisms of both the plan and the process have been intense, but have been expressed civilly. I know that this process has damaged morale in this College, and especially in those departments that would bear the brunt of the cuts, but we have also demonstrated our ability to maintain our principles even under severe strain. I’m grateful for that.


Dean College of Arts and Science


At 10:06 PM, Anonymous angst said...

Wow! 7 months and your blog is live again. I was getting ready to delete your bookmark.

Sorry to hear about the funding problems.

At 5:41 PM, Blogger The Chemist said...

Wow, that's um... not good.

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Joe Meert said...

very bad


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