Provost recommends downsizing

By Melissa Prentice

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Four doctoral and one undergraduate program should be downsized to free up resources for undergraduate programs, according to the provost's recent recommendation.

In his recommendation to President Manuel Pacheco Nov. 9, Provost Paul Sypherd stated that the University of Arizona doctoral programs in history, political science, English and French should be downsized and resources should be focused on the undergraduate programs. He also recommended that the media arts undergraduate program be downsized to 350 students, a decrease of 200 students.

The provost has also recommended the elimination of the journalism, physical education and statistics departments.

In the report, the provost referred to the recommendations made in June by the Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory committee, and gave no other reasons for his recommendation. Sypherd was not available for comment yesterday.

In a speech to community members last week, Pacheco said

the recommendations were made "to free up resources that can be reallocated to their undergraduate programs."

The SPBAC report states that both the English and political science departments have a shortage of resources at the undergraduate level. The number of graduate students in the English department is also "not commensurate with market demand," according to the report.

The French, history and political science departments were all criticized for having "produced few Ph.D.s over the past few years" and because "time until degree has been excessive."

SPBAC criticized the media arts program as having "a size and quality problem, stemming in part from an open enrollment policy." The report also states that "the market demand for graduates in that area is not a problem."

Two deparments involved in the downsizing efforts said they agreed with the provost's recommendations.

Ed Muller, the political science department head, said he thinks the downsizing will improve the department, which includes about 60 Ph.D. students.

"We just want to make sure not to accept more students than we can find jobs for," he said. "By raising our admissions standards we can get top quality students, which will improve our national status."

He said the downsizing will allow more professors to teach undergraduate classes.

"We are doing what we can to make courses available, and having ranked faculty teach undergraduates, this change will just help these trends," Muller said.

Wes Marshall, the media arts undergraduate advisor, said the department recommended beginning downsizing efforts "several years ago" and has already begun the process.

By requiring media arts students to acquire advanced standing before registering for upper division classes and requiring a minimum 2.5 grade point average, the department has been reduced to a current enrollment of 550 students and enrollment is expected to continue decreasing, he said.

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