As the university determines where it should cut costs, it should remember its title.
In response to budget cuts, the College of Liberal Arts will officially collapse its interdisciplinary programs – Jewish studies, American studies, women’s studies, LGBT studies, Asian studies and Latin-American studies – into existing university departments as of July 1, according to emails sent to the respective programs’ Listservs.
As the deans and department heads of the interdisciplinary programs plan to meet tomorrow to discuss the futures of the programs, specific implications of how exactly those cuts will affect the programs’ faculty and students are difficult to speculate.
But if drastic times call for desperate measures in a university setting, it’s an unfortunate reality that those measures often equate to drastic cuts.
And while The Temple News understands most cuts the university could propose in light of Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed 50 percent appropriation slash will not be met with accolades, administrators should prioritize and enact cuts that do not inherently damage the integrity of the university.
Depending on the College of Liberal Arts’ strategy, the interdisciplinary programs may eventually conform to the departments in which they are collapsed to, leaving students without specialized resources and faculty in a state of academic oblivion.
The contributions to the university made by these programs, which often cultivate outreach and diverse thinking, should not be undermined.
In that same breath, faculty and students should not expect to retreat from the university in the coming months unscathed. Cuts to education are saddening, but to an extent, sacrifices must be made.
Ultimately, administrators must remember that the dollars interdisciplinary students pay to the university are of equal value to those of the rest of the student body.
Most importantly, they should not administer cuts that disrupt the fundamental core of the university’s essence.
Merriam-Webster defines the word “university” as “an institution of higher learning providing facilities for teaching and research and authorized to grant academic degrees.”
Administrators should not stray from this definition in the midst of university politics and state dollars wafting to stay afloat across Pennsylvania – and consider all that does not fall within that definition to be accessories.