By Keren G. Raz
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday January 15, 2003
Karen Vitkay left her home in Michigan to study at UA's School of Landscape Architecture.
Recently she bought a house, established residency and settled as a graduate student.
Now she might have to uproot herself again.
The school of landscape architecture is one of 16 programs that may be eliminated, according to a memo released yesterday by President Pete Likins and Provost George Davis.
"I wish I had known it was coming. I could have made plans," Vitkay said. "Now, I'm worried I may have to sell my house and move somewhere else."
Now that administrators have released proposals for program eliminations, some students such as Vitkay have begun to express concerns with the proposals for program elimination while others are expressing their support.
Proposals seem reasonable at a time in which program eliminations are necessary amidst a series of cuts in university funding from the state, said Doug Hartz, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona.
"It's a painful thing to see happen. It's not anything we would hope to see, but with the current situation and the current budget, there aren't any alternatives," he said.
Although administrators said they will not close any schools or programs until all current students graduate, Vitkay is concerned that she won't receive a quality education if she stays.
"I can't imagine the quality of education will be up to my standards. If we don't stay together as a department, then I don't understand how the school will work," she said.
At a press conference yesterday, Likins said that administrators have learned how hard it may be to continue programs designated for elimination.
"We are haunted by the Arizona International College," he said. " We promised to incoming freshmen that we would continue to offer courses, but that's been hard to do because faculty went elsewhere."
Annabel Nunez, a graduate student in information resources and library science is worried that faculty may leave the university before she graduates if her school is slated for elimination.
"There's no guarantee that faculty will stay even though (administrators) say we can keep faculty," she said. "I'm concerned that I won't have a program to finish."
Tony Olivas, another graduate student in information resources and library science, said that even if she can get her degree, she's concerned that her degree may be worth less if the program ceases to exist.
"We'll still have a black mark against us because (we) graduated from a school that does not exist."
Likins rejected the concern that degrees from cut programs will be worth less in the future.
Likins graduated from a mechanical engineering program that doesn't exist anymore, and he said he's "not suffering" as president of the university.
"If you have a degree from a school or a professional program, that has value forever," he said.
Jeff Sklar contributed to this report.