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Old 10-19-2009, 10:57 AM
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Default CSUB weighing program cuts

CSUB weighing program cuts

BY JEFF NACHTIGAL, Californian staff writer

Tuesday, Oct 13 2009 06:50 PM

Last Updated Wednesday, Oct 14 2009 10:38 AM

Cal State Bakersfield faculty and administrators are in the midst of tough discussions about what programs and departments will be cut back to meet a $8.3 million budget reduction next year. Heated e-mails from some faculty members suggest that the Spanish undergraduate and graduate degree programs might be cut entirely, and physics, anthropology and the School of Education would face significant reductions.

There haven't been any decisions about program cuts yet, said Jess F. Deegan II, a psychology professor who in his position as chair of the CSUB faculty and academic senates meets regularly with President Horace Mitchell and the executive committee.

"I think people are looking at small programs and making predictions," said Deegan.

Specific news about program cuts will come out by Dec. 1.

University spokesperson Kathy Miller confirmed the campus is engaged in an ongoing budget reduction process, and Mitchell will approve a final campus budget by the end of fall quarter.

The unofficial word, Deegan said, is "there's no way all of us are going to survive this."

Last year CSUB program officials filed program "scans," or data profiles that provided the administration with detailed information about the number of faculty, enrollment and degrees awarded.

The administration will use these profiles to make decisions about cuts to address the steep budget reductions next year.

"Some departments might be combined with other departments, eliminated or re-configured because they have to consider all options given the budget," said Bruce Hartsell, a lecturer in the Department of Social Work and chapter president of the California Faculty Association.

Even in a good budget year, the university would be looking at the efficient use of resources and considering whether departments were able to justify faculty positions and numbers of graduates, said Hartsell.

The possible cuts to the Spanish program -- which would mean the elimination of six Latino faculty, according to one faculty e-mail -- prompted Spanish department chair José R. Reyna to schedule a meeting to discuss the future of the department on Thursday.

Some changes are already in the works. Mitchell made an announcement in September about the realignment of programs beginning in Fall 2010.

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences were reconfigured -- the humanities and arts will become one school and behavioral and social sciences will merge with education.

In all budget cut situations, the faculty is involved in the decision but ultimately it's the president's decision, Deegan said.
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